Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, 92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 105.1 The Block, and the Tuscaloosa Thread are proud to present the 2023 Black History Makers of Alabama.

Yellowhammer State is filled with great African American leaders from the past, present, and future. We thank our West Alabama community partners, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Delta Phi Lambda Chapter, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Xi Omega Chapter for their continued support.

Black History Maker of Alabama - Aerial Horton

Aerial Horton is using her long-time love for sports to impact youth in Tuscaloosa while serving as the first ever strength and conditioning coach at Paul W. Bryant High School.

Horton, a Tuscaloosa native, has participated in sports her entire life. She is a graduate of Northridge High School where she played basketball, volleyball and track and field.

Horton received a Division I track and field scholarship to Samford University where she competed all four years while pursuing her degree in heath science with a concentration in nutrition, graduating in 2017.

Following graduation, Horton returned to Tuscaloosa where she began interning at the University of Alabama in the strength and conditioning program under her grandfather, coach Terry Jones Sr., and mentor, Coach Michelle Martin-Diltz.

Horton said she was honored and blessed for the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding from them to be able impact student-athletes.

"During my time at Alabama, I was able to work with many sports including softball, women’s basketball, women’s golf, gymnastics, cheerleading and dance," Horton said. "The hands-on experience helped me to find my voice not only as a coach but as a leader and mentor."

In three years time, she also earned her master's degree from the University of Alabama in 2021.

Horton accepted the strength and condition head coach position at Bryant High School for the 2022-2023 school year, becoming the first person and African American woman to serve in the role. She stated she never imaged she would have the opportunity to serve in this capacity where she works with every sport Bryant High school offers.

"It is an honor that I do not take lightly and I am beyond blessed to be able to do something that I love while impacting our youth," Horton said.

"It’s a great feeling to be able to say that I AM BLACK HISTORY! God has a plan greater than what we can ask for or imagine if we only crazy enough to believe!"

Horton quoted Barack Obama about the importance of Black History in Alabama, stating it is something she lives by:

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek"

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2022 Black History Makers of Alabama

Black History Makers of Alabama 2021

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