HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – February is Black History month. Teachers in schools across the United States are taking the time to highlight the impact African Americans have had on our country. WHNT NEWS 19 has the story of a Huntsville man who had such impact here and the students who are anxious to learn about his legacy.
Kwesi Jackson deals withs some of the youngest minds every day. He teaches social studies at Whitesburg Middle. Jackson got help this time around from his friend, Eddie Davis.
The two talked about Doctor William Hooper Councill.
“I thought how fitting would that be with us in this area. There are so many things that took place in the civil rights movement that came through Huntsville,” said Jackson.
Dr. Councill founded Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University in 1875.
“Huntsville has many black figures. The one whom I believe we`ve kind of failed to remember is Dr. William Hooper Councill,” said Davis.
Davis told Jackson’s seventh-graders about Dr. Councill’s background, up-bringing and accomplishments.
One was the opening of the Lincoln School, Madison County’s first school for blacks.
“I thought he was pretty cool because I had never really heard of the guy. Now, I have a good understanding of what he did and who he was to Huntsville, said Student Austin Huggins.
Huggins was not the only one to learn something about AAMU’s original Bulldog.
Marina Holt plans to share something with her family at home.
‘I will tell them how he was trying to give freedom, went back to speak to people in churches and built a hotel for slaves. He also built a school for kids who were black,” said Holt.
Davis says he’s working on a book about the life of AAMU’s founder. A release date for the book is not yet scheduled.