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Did you know?

     ·      Dr. William R. Harvey, now the president of Hampton University in Virginia.

·     Manford Byrd, the former superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools.

·     Carl E. Singley, a lawyer, law professor and former dean of the Temple University Law School in Philadelphia.

·     Paul Graves, an executive with the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta.

·     Mary Marshall Tucker, Southern Normal High School valedictorian honored at Central College.


For the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters
Dr. William R. Harvey

Dr. William R. Harvey has served with distinction as President of Hampton University since 1978. He has created a monumental legacy during his more than twenty-five year tenure – one of the longest tenures of any sitting president of a college or university in the country. During the time that he has served at the helm, Dr. Harvey has made countless contributions to the University, our state and the nation.

A native of Brewton, Alabama, he is a graduate of Southern Normal High School and Talladega College. After graduating from Talladega College, Dr. Harvey served three years on active duty with the United States Army. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. Dr. Harvey earned his doctorate in College Administration from Harvard University in 1972. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Assistant for Governmental Affairs to the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University; Administrative Assistant to the President at Fisk University; and as Administrative Vice President at Tuskegee University.

Since being named President, Dr. William R. Harvey has introduced innovations, which have solidified Hampton University’s stellar position among the nation’s colleges and universities. His innovative leadership is reflected in the growth and quality of the University’s student population, academic programs, physical facilities, and financial base. During Dr. Harvey’s tenure as President, the student enrollment at Hampton University has increased from approximately 2,700 students to over 6,000, and the average SAT score of entering freshmen has increased approximately 300 points.

His commitment to expansion and innovation in academic programs has resulted in 76 new academic programs being implemented under his watch. Some of these new thrusts include undergraduate programs in Computer Science, Marine Science, Entrepreneurship, Chemical, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Airway Science, Emergency Medical Assistance Management; graduate programs in Business Administration (MBA), Applied Mathematics and doctoral degrees in Physics, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Nursing. These new programs, together with existing ones, have placed and kept Hampton on the cutting edge of higher education.

Dr. Harvey is the visionary and leader behind numerous community and educational initiatives, such as the requirement for all Hampton University students to engage in a community service project prior to graduation. The intent is to encourage students to take pride in their community and to allow them to experience first-hand the inherent value of giving back to the community through contributions of time and talents.

Enhancing the University’s physical facilities has been an integral part of Dr. Harvey’s determination to create a physical environment conducive to learning and living. During his presidency, the University has erected 17 new buildings and has spent some $50,000,000 on the renovation of existing facilities.

An astute businessman, Dr. Harvey is 100% owner of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan. He applied his business acumen to the needs of Hampton University when he initiated a University-owned commercial development consisting of a shopping center and 246 two-bedroom apartments. All after-tax profits from the Hampton Harbor Project are primarily utilized for student scholarships. Additionally, the Project creates jobs, provides services, increases the number of African-American entrepreneurs, and expands the tax base in the City of Hampton.

Dr. Harvey’s financial leadership is indicated in the financial growth and stability Hampton has achieved during his twenty-five years as President. The University has balanced its budget and achieved a surplus during each of those years. The endowment, which stood at $29 million when he became President, now exceeds $185 million. The University’s first capital fundraising campaign in 1979 had a goal of $30,000,000. That campaign raised $46.4 million. The most recent campaign had a goal of $200 million and raised $264 million.

Along with his duties as President, the corporate boards that Dr. Harvey serves on, or has served on, are Fannie Mae, Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Signet Bank, Newport News Shipbuilding, Wachovia Bank (Mid-Atlantic Region), Newport News Savings Bank, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan, National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and the Harvard Cooperative Society. He is a member of Virginia Association of Higher Education, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, and the Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.

Dr. Harvey has long been active on the national scene as a result of his appointments to national boards by five presidents of the United States. He has served on the President’s National Advisory Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service, the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board, the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges, and the U. S. Department of Commerce Minority Development Advisory Board. Additionally, Dr. Harvey serves as the Chairman of the Board of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO, the HBCU Presidential Organization)

Dr. Harvey’s achievements have been recognized through inclusion of Personalities of the South, Who’s Who in the South and Southeast, Who’s Who in Black America, Who’s Who in American Education, International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, Two Thousand Notable Americans, Who’s Who in Business and Finance, and Who’s Who in America.

Dr. Harvey is married to the former Norma Baker of Martinsville, Virginia, and they have three children—Kelly Renee, William Christopher, and Leslie Denise—and one grandchild, Taylor.


Educator Manford Byrd, Jr. a Southern Normal High School graduate, was born on May 29, 1928, in Brewton, Alabama. He studied mathematics at Iowa Central College and graduated in 1949. He then pursued graduate work, earning his M.A. from Atlanta University in 1954 and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1978.

Byrd began his career in education teaching in Quincy,
Illinois from 1949 to 1954. From 1954 to 1967, he worked for Chicago Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, elementary and high school principal, and assistant to the general superintendent. In 1968, he was appointed deputy superintendent of Chicago Public Schools. In this role, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the school system. He was later appointed deputy superintendent for instruction and deputy superintendent for pupil services and system-wide reorganization. In 1985, he was appointed general superintendent of schools, a position he held until retiring in 1990. Since then, Byrd has worked as an educational consultant.

Byrd has sat on the boards of directors of the
Chicago State University Foundation, Joint Negro Appeal, the Mid-America Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Council of the Great City Schools, the Chicago NAACP and the United Church Board for World Ministries. He is a trustee of Central College in Pella, Iowa, and the Adler Planetarium of Chicago. Altogether, he belongs to more than seventy professional organizations.

Byrd has been the recipient of more than 100 awards and commendations for excellence in teaching and academic administration, including honorary doctorates from Central College, Hope College and the National College of Education. He and his wife, Cheribelle, have three sons.

Byrd was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 1,


Shirley Lewis-Brown
Ms. Shirley Lewis-Brown is an instructional systems specialist with the United States Navy through the cooperative education program. She completed her course work and is a candidate for a doctorate in education. Her dissertation will focus on the use of the Internet by health educators for patient education.

Ms. Lewis-Brown is a retired Navy Captain who served in many increasingly challenging administrative and clinical positions in the Naval Medical Department. She was instrumental in establishing the first "Nurse-Run" Wellness Clinic at Naval Hospital, Orlando, and planned the annual "Flu Shot Evolution" for over 5,000 retirees and family beneficiaries in the Orlando area. She completed her active duty career as the Director of Nursing Services at Naval Hospital Beaufort, in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Born in Brewton, Ala., Ms. Lewis-Brown graduated from Southern Normal High School in Brewton. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing and was commissioned an ensign in the Navy upon graduation from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. She also holds a masters degree in education from Boston University in the Overseas Program in Naples, Italy, and a masters degree in business administration from Webster University, Orlando, Florida Campus.

Ms. Lewis-Brown is married to Frank J. Brown. They have two children and reside in Northeast Pensacola, Florida.


PRESIDENT & FOUNDER PAUL J. ADAMS III, A Southern Normal High School graduate, making a difference in education!

The school’s founder, Paul Adams, is originally from Montgomery, Alabama.   The son of a school teacher, Adams received his BA from Alabama State University.  He grew up during the civil rights movement and participated in Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery.  Because of that participation, he was blacklisted in Alabama and unable to obtain a teaching position.

Adams left Alabama and moved to Chicago, receiving a master’s degree in psychology from Northeastern Illinois University.  In 1971, he was hired as director of guidance for Providence St. Mel School, then a private Catholic high school.  A year later, he became principal.  When the Archdiocese of Chicago withdrew funding from the school in 1978, Adams spearheaded a national campaign to raise money for the school.  In response to his publicity-seeking efforts and the support of the Providence St. Mel students and community, the school received local and national media attention.  Donations poured in from across the country, allowing Adams to transition Providence St. Mel into a not-for-profit independent school.

At Providence St. Mel, Adams focused on developing a strong academic standard while enforcing strict disciplinary codes.  To guarantee the safety of his students, he literally moved into the empty quarters of the convent inside the school to ward off thieves and vandals.  His dedication became legendary and during the next two decades, Adams successfully transformed Providence St. Mel into a premier college preparatory learning institution for African-American students.

Since 1996, Adams has served as president of Providence St. Mel School, managing an annual budget in excess of $7 million.  He remains very active in planning the curriculum for the school, which has since expanded to include pre-kindergarten, elementary, and middle grades, for a full pre-K-through-12 grade span.  Under his leadership, 100 percent of Providence St. Mel’s graduating seniors have been accepted to four-year colleges and institutions of higher learning for over 30 years, with over 50 percent attending top-tier and Ivy League institutions for the past seven years.

To further his groundbreaking approach to education, Adams waded into the public school arena by founding Providence Englewood Charter School.  During the 2006 -2007 school year, he served as principal while, as part of Providence St. Mel’s Leadership Development Program, he and Jeanette DiBella trained the designated, incoming, permanent school principal.

According to Adams, “I learned early on that without a proper education, a person is doomed.  If I could provide the right environment, our children could enter these doors and feel free to learn and prosper.” 

Adams has received numerous awards for his accomplishments, including the McDonald’s Education Achievement Award, the African-American Male Image Award, the Rozell R. Nesbitt Community Education Award, and five honorary doctorates.  Adams was named an American Hero in Education by Reader’s Digest and was voted Man of the Year by the Chicago Urban League.  He also was chosen by Michigan State University as a distinguished Crystal Apple Award winner.  Most recently, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago has selected Adams as one of Chicago’s 2009 Heroes, individuals chosen because they embody the guiding principles of the Red Cross, serve the community with dedication, and inspire others to do well.


Demonstrating exceptional professional and life accomplishments, Mary Marshall Tucker ’49 is this year’s alumni achievement award honoree. A lifelong learner, dedicated to educating herself and others, Mary also has been strongly rooted in service and faith.

One of the first black students on campus, Mary graduated cum laude with history and English degrees from Central College, where she wrote for The Ray and was in alpha zeta mu. She also earned a master’s degree in history from Atlanta University and later an A.A. certification from Troy University in Alabama. After graduation, Mary returned to her alma mater, Southern Normal High School where she had been valedictorian. The school became a sort of pipeline for students who went on to attend class at Central College. Mary taught history, and after marriage in 1954, she moved to Monroeville, Ala., where she taught in the public school system for 19 years and at the local community college for 14 years.

A 16-year member of the Kiwanis Club, Mary was selected as Monroeville’s citizen of the year in 2002. She served on the Alabama Humanities Foundation Board for six years and the Monroe County Library Board for 16. She serves the local Historic Preservation Commission and tutors at the local literacy center and at her church, where she also teaches Sunday school.

Her involvement with the Monroe County Heritage Museum Board, which performs the play To Kill a Mockingbird annually in May in Monroeville for the past 16 years, has sent her traveling to the U.K. twice and Chicago once for performances. Mary leads discussions about life in small towns in the Deep South during the time period in which the play was set.

Article published by: Central College


Click to read more on ...Mr. Carl E. Singley

Carl E. Singley, MOVE Commission counsel

THE DAY THE CITY bombed the MOVE compound, lawyer Carl E. Singley was home for some long-forgotten reason.

But he'll never forget the stunning scene unfolding live on TV.

"I remember that day like I remember the days John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. died, or 9/11 - it was one of the events that sticks out in your mind," said Singley, now 64. "But it never occurred to me then that I would somehow play a role in it."

Long after the flames and smoke dissipated on Osage Avenue, authorities approached Singley, then dean of Temple University Law School, and asked him to be counsel to the commission investigating the MOVE disaster.

1985: Singley questioned many people - from city officials to witnesses - about the incident during the extensive commission hearings. Things got so heated that a shouting match erupted between Singley and a police lawyer during a court break. Singley invited the man to "step outside" to settle matters, though he says now, with a laugh, that he wanted "discussion, not a fistfight."

Quote: "Osage Avenue speaks of miscalculation, it speaks of misjudgment, and it speaks for mistakes."

2010: Singley works at the Center City law firm of Ciardi, Ciardi & Astin, and specializes in commercial litigation and bankruptcy.

An Alabama native, Singley came of age at the height of the civil-rights movement. He remembers hurling rocks at hooded Klansmen who rode regularly through his neighborhood, participating in the Selma-to-Montgomery march and hearing King at Brown A.M.E. church.

That background kept him committed to ensuring racial equality throughout his life. At Temple, he headed the law school's minority-recruitment efforts (one famous recruit was future mayor John Street, who then worked in a lunch truck outside the law school).

Now, the father of two and grandfather of three lives with Rose, his wife of 42 years, in Melrose Park, Montgomery County, where he indulges his passion for cooking (casseroles are a specialty), golf, photography, and gadgets, and reading biographies and historical novels.

His MOVE experience underscored his belief that bigwigs often bungle big time.

"Over the years, I think it has shaped and confirmed a theory I have about something Machiavelli said: 'How often men are wrong on matters of great importance . . . Catastrophic consequences often come from a series of poor decisions that seem to make sense at the time . . . Hindsight adds brilliant clarity."

-Dana DiFilippo

Charlie E. Hardy

received the Bachelor of Science degree in 1962 in Secondary Education from Alabama State University. Hardy was an instrumental music major with a specialization is brass winds, particularly trumpet. In July 2005 he received a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

Charlie Hardy been privileged to teach Instrumental Music in three schools. His first professional assignment was in Brewton, Alabama, at Booker T. Washington High School. There, Hardy organized the first band at the school. He was responsible for creating a culture for instrumental music and helped students reach their musical potential by using himself as an example of a quality musician.

Hardy, who played his trumpet each day during the activity period, considers himself an excellent motivator. One example could be found in a student that had been labeled a slow learner by some faculty members. Hardy, encouraged this young man to join him in the band as a trombone player. Not only did that student learn to play the trombone, after graduating from High School the student followed Hardy to Alabama State University where he became a Band Director. Before Hardy left Brewton, the Director of Southern Normal School hired him on a part-time basis to develop a band at the school.

Several of Hardy's students have made names for themselves. Ronald LaPread played sousaphone under Hardy's tutelage, and he continued on to join Lionel Richie in starting the Commodores. Hardy remembers teaching LaPread the technique of how he could instantly determine the key center of a piece of music. LaPread reminds Hardy of how valuable that technique proved to be for him. Another of Hardy's students, James Kelley did not know how he would go to college. Hardy, however, met a friend in graduate School at Indiana State University who had just accepted a position at Elizabeth City State University as Band Director. That friend offered James a full band scholarship. Kelley is now a principal in Dothan, Alabama. Yet another student, Nathaniel Leon Knight, became a tremendous musician. Knight won a full scholarship from Dr. Thomas E. Lyle to perform with the Marching Hornets at Alabama State University. Knight has since retired as chief of recreation from Central Alabama Health Care Center.

Hardy is a registered Representative of the National Association of Securities Dealers and has also completed his studies as a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow in Washington, DC.

From 2005 to present Hardy has served as the management and marketing professor at Alabama State University. Charlie Hardy is married to the former Lillie Curry, retired media specialist. Their son is United States Navy Commander Randall Charles Hardy and daughter Christa Valencia Hardy, Ph.D


Private black boarding schools becoming popular again

 The private boarding schools, flourished during the 1950s and '60s, particularly in the South when segregation was a factor, but became more obscure after integration.

The boarding schools that remain open today are very popular. Officials at the schools say the problems of public schools, crime and violence, and the renewed interest among Blacks for Black institutions sensitive to the needs of Black children; give the schools enormous potential today.

According to the Institute for Independent Education in Washington, there are more than 300 Black private schools altogethers.

Atty. Carl E. Singley, a graduate of the private Black boarding school Southern Normal in Brewton, AL, said in the New York Times: "What the school gave to us was structure and discipline and a set of values."

Frederick E. Burks, a successful Black businessman in Atlanta, who heads Southern Normal's Board of Trustees noted, "All you have to do is pick up a newspaper every day and hear about someone getting shot in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles or Jump Off City, GA., to know that parents need a place for their kids where they can feel safe and get personal development as well as a strong education."

COPYRIGHT 1994 Johnson Publishing Co. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning



“Coach for all seasons”

James Hardy
devoted 30 years to teaching, coaching, and helping kids. His reward: induction into the Alabama High School Hall of Fame.

LANETT--James Hardy is a model of stability. For 30 years he went to the same job-teaching and helping kids.  Hardy served as football, baseball, basketball, and physical education coach at Lanier High School in Lanett from 1954-69 before moving to Lanett High School in 1969 when school integration was enforced. He remained a coach until 1976 and taught until l984. James’ principal remarked that James was full of energy and ready to work. Hardy stressed to his students the love of school pride, respect for self and authority, fair play, personal hygiene and always giving 100 percent in whatever students were engaged in. 

     For his dedication to his profession, James Hardy was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

     “Uncle Pump” “Babe Brother” (the name by which we in Brewton know James Hardy) attended Southern Normal High School and Alabama State University. His civic actions and community dedication truly identify the Legacy of Mr. James Dooley Sr. On Feb. 10, 1995 a walking trail was dedicated to this outstanding S.N.S alumni. The James Hardy Walking Trail is located at the Georgia Visitor Center on I-85 making it the first of its kind in the state.

Exerts of this article were taken from

The OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS written by Joe McAdory, Sports writer

Click here for AHSAA article!

James Hardy (Cont.)


S.N.S graduate, James Hardy in attendance for the unveiling of Joseph Louis Barrow Sr.'s statute in Lafayette, Alabama (Chambers County) February 27, 2010.  (Pictured: Joseph Louis Barrow, Jr. and James Hardy)

“Louis's cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first African American to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II. He also was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952”. Source: Wikipdidia


Late Dr. George O. McCalep, Jr.  and Dr. Sadie McCalep were faculty members at SNS 1960-64.

Dr. George Orman McCalep, Jr. served as Kettel Hall dormitory parent and Head Coach 1960-64.  Coach McCalep received the "Coach of the Year" award three years and his team won three Conference Championships in football.  Also under his leadership, the basketball team won Monroeville and Evergreen Invitation Tournaments; 2nd place Conference in Basketball Tournament and 3rd place in Track & Field.

“It was in 1979 that the Greenforest Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia called Reverend George McCalep to pastor.  He was a best-selling author.  He wrote twelve books of church growth and stewardship.  His thirteenth book, Blessed, Healed and Delivered, is co-authored with his wife, Dr. Sadie Turner McCalep.  Dr. Rev. McCalep books can be purchased by emailing Dr. Sadie McCalep at”.

Information submitted by: Clarece Simmons Jones, class of '69



Source: AHSAA | Alabama High School Athletic Association


 Michael Cheatham is a graduate of Southern Normal High School and Alabama State University. The Brewton native, one of 10 children, began coaching at Conecuh County Training School in the 1940s and guided girls basketball teams to four AIAA state championships (1952, 1954, 1956, 1957) and one unofficial state crown over Westfield (1958).   The girls title came after the AIAA had discontinued its championship program, but CCTS and Westfield were generally regarded as the two top teams.  His 1952 team finished 27-1 and his 1954 team posted a 39-0 mark. Now deceased, he also served as assistant football coach while coaching girls basketball and eventually took over football and boys basketball for a time. His boys basketball team was state runner-up in 1955. . 

Ronnie Blackmon

Source: Brewton Standard

Brewton native Ronnie Blackmon grew up an Alabama fan. But on the biggest football day in the state of Alabama this season, Blackmon will be an Auburn fan.
“Growing up in Brewton, I pulled for Alabama because of Bear Bryant and Walter Lewis,” Blackmon said. “I always pulled for the Crimson Tide and there was nothing more exciting than the Iron Bowl after Thanksgiving.”
But why the change of heart this one season you might ask? The reason behind the change of heart for Blackmon this season is Auburn Tiger quarterback Cam Newton.
“I am pulling for Auburn this year and Cam Newton,” Blackmon said. “During my coaching career, I have had the chance to work with talented players and high profile players.
“I worked with Eric Berry, Adam “Pac man” Jones, but Cam Newton is in a class of his own.”
Blackmon grew up in Brewton and graduated from Southern Normal High School in 1988.
After graduation he went Alabama State University and later transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta.
While at Morehouse, Blackmon earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in health and physical education.
In 2007, Blackmon went to Walden University and earned a master’s degree.
While at Morehouse, Blackmon played football. Blackmon always enjoyed the game of football since an early age always wanted to be a coach. Blackmon began his coaching career at Morris Brown College where he coached running backs, but in 2003 went to the high school ranks.
While in high school, Blackmon coached Berry, who played at the University of Tennessee, and Newton, who is now the leader at Auburn.
“Cam came out of little league football as a 14-year-old quarterback when I was his position coach at West Lake High School in Georgia,” Blackmon said. “He was only 5-8 then and a very likeable kid. He had something special. His arm was like a rifle. He worked and trained in our system and quickly overnight he developed into a quarterback.”
Blackmon said the third game of the season that year in football, he lobbied the head coach to get Cam, who dressed with the varsity as a seventh grader, to play.
“He led us to victory over our rival,” Blackmon said.
Of course, unless you have been living under a rock, Newton and his family are under investigation for a pay-to-play system while being recruited. Blackmon does not believe any of it.
“I can honestly say, the Newton family are great people,” Blackmon said. “It is hard for me to believe it. I know them personally and I talk to Cecil, Cam’s dad, all the time. My son and his youngest son are best friends.
“It is just hard for me to believe what they say happened between Cecil and Mississippi State.”
While the investigation is still ongoing of the Newton’s, Cam has developed into the best college football player this season in some of the media’s eyes and is the frontrunner for the Heisman.
“In my personal opinion, it will be a sad day for college football if Cam does not win the Heisman,” Blackman said. “He is the most deserving and best player. Nothing has been proven to be concrete nor has anyone been found guilty.”
Blackmon said Auburn coach Gene Chizik has done a great job with the Tigers this season.
“I hope that Auburn wins the National Championship this season,” Blackmon said. “That will be two in a row for the state of Alabama and means a lot of good football is in this state.”
Blackmon is now back in the high school coaching ranks after coaching at Clark Atlantic.
He is coaching at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Georgia where he is coaching his son Ronnie Jr.
“I just wanted to be closer to my family and coach my son,” Blackmon said. “Ronnie Jr. is a seventh grader and is very talented.”
While Blackmon wants Auburn and Cam to win this Friday against his Crimson Tide, he said things would change immediately.
“After the game Friday, I will be back an Alabama fan,” Blackmon said with a laugh


Rev. Willie J. Blue

Rev. Blue is a 1967 graduate of the Southern Normal High School. He is a man who loves God and his fellow man. He was called into the Ministry in April of 1972. He is a former Pastor of the Mt. Rose Baptist church in Garland, Alabama where he served for two years. Rev. Blue also pastured his home church, the First Marietta Baptist Church for almost eight years.

Rev. Blue joined the Second Saints Siloam Baptist Church in June of 1972 and later was ordained to preach from this Church. He also became Assistant Pastor at a later date. Rev. Blue is an employee of the Containers Corp. (now Georgia- Pacific) for the past 21 years.

He has a compassionate nature and loves to work with people for a better community. During the time of compiling this article, I (Darryl Searcy) was privileged to meet Mrs. Jacqueline Blue and one of their sons. She is the former Jacqueline Humphrey. They have three children; Michael, Timothy, and Tiffany. All are active members of the Second Saints Siloam, Baptist Church.

Published by:

LATE COUNTY COMMISSIONER CHARLIE MCCORVEY, JR, graduate of Southern Normal School plays Tom Robinson in the undying play TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD. Tom Robinson: Charlie McCorvey, Jr.

Full Story!


(Click Link for full article)


Non-commissioned Officer Publishes Poetry Book “From Within” while Deployed

16th Sustainment Brigade

Story by Sgt. Keith Anderson Date: 04.12.2009 Posted: 04.12.2009 07:59 CONTINGENCY

OPERATING BASE Q-WEST, Iraq – Sgt. JoAnna Menzie Davis,

A non-commissioned officer in charge of awards, 16th Sustainment Brigade, set some personal goals during her deployment here – one of which included publishing a book of poetry.

She accomplished her goal when the first shipment of 20 copies of her published book arrived here on March 19. "I was astounded," Davis said. "I knew that all my hard work and dedication had paid off. I was elated. And I knew I could not stop there." Davis said the poems in her book, written under the pen name Jodi, aren't directly from her experiences but are triggered by events in her life. "They're poems from living, seeing, knowing and understanding," Davis said. "I can't say they're particularly from my life."

Davis, with the help of Spc. Erin Smith, a graphics artist with the 16th

Sust. Bde. public affairs office, published the 49-page glossy book

through a self-publishing service called Lulu.

According to the Lulu, the book is about growing up. "'From Within' comes from the challenges and obstacles we all face as we grow from a young adolescent into an adult," reads the description of the book on the website "Life is filled with so many twists and

turns that to understand and capture as many as possible [sic]. Here is a tribute to all who have been in these shoes!" The multi-faceted noncommissioned officer overcame many obstacles in

her life. She said her mother left her and her siblings when they were young. "I was told she left when I was around one-and-a-half," Davis said. "I don't remember much about those years — phone calls, a visit or two, but I don't hold it against her. I don't think I'd be who I am today if she'd stayed." Davis, raised by her father, James C. Menzie Sr., followed in his footsteps

from attending the same school as her father, Southern Normal School, Brewton, Ala., and participating in various sports while growing up. Throughout her school years, Davis played basketball, volleyball, tennis, ran track, and even debated. Upon graduation, the driven NCO attended Wayne Community College and the University of Detroit-Mercy where she obtained a bachelor degree in developmental psychology. In college, she continued playing sports where she starred as a wide receiver, corner back, tight end and line backer for the Detroit Demolition, a womens professional football team in the National Women's Football Association. Later, her new career allowed her to work with developmentally disabled solders.


Paula Larke (Stone Mountain, Georgia)

Paula Larke is a writer, musician, and, story-teller who performs at schools, historical societies, cultural diversity programs, and historically black college alumni gatherings. The sources she draws upon include chants, songs, and spirituals from Tuskegee, Alabama; the Georgia Sea Islands; the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains; and the Piedmont Plateau region of North Carolina.

Paula's Music Fellowship work will be directed at gathering music and other materials to be used in a school based musical presentation that has as its backdrop the lives and times of her two grandfathers. Themes she will emphasize in her presentation include the importance of preserving family history and demonstrating ways of doing this with modern technology and through creative expressions such as song, rap, spoken word tributes, theatrical reenactments and video – digital stories.

One of her grandfathers was a community activist associated with the establishment of Southern Normal Institute in Brewton, Alabama. The other along with his sons, journeyed from South Carolina to Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and finally Ohio in search of work. Paula is particularly interested in identifying recordings of music and voices from radio and other sources that will suggest the music her father and grandfather were hearing and making their own as they made their way north to Ohio.

Paula's reflections on her archival work and performance of music encountered during her study are available in an approximately one hour You Tube video presentation.

If you have information on other alumni that we should know about, please submit their name and article reference to be added to our news archive. 

Brewton Alabama * US * 36426