Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, 92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 105.1 The Block, and the Tuscaloosa Thread are proud to present the 2022 Black History Makers of Alabama supported by Sealy Furniture Outlet, Twelve25 Sports Bar & Entertainment Venue, and Red Oak Credit Union.

The 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.

Wille Mae Wells Ike is a Black History Maker of Alabama

“Celebrating Black History Month allows us as black people to reflect on and share the illustrious legacy of our struggle for freedom, justice, and equality for all. The cause for freedom, justice, and equality for all was costly. Therefore, it cannot be taken lightly, but with respect and reverence. We have a history that we can be proud of. Without God on our side, we would not have been able to accomplish the freedom” -Willie Mae Wells Ike

Mrs. Willie Mae Wells was born into a segregated society in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her mother worked as a domestic and her father worked for the railroad. She attended a segregated elementary and high school. After graduating from Druid High School, she received a scholarship to attend Stillman College where she received a Bachelors of Art in Business Education with a minor in English. 

In 1964, she answered a call to join forces for the Greater Cause of Freedom, Justice, and Equality for all and became a foot soldier in the Civil Rights Movement in Tuscaloosa. On June 9, 1964, known as “Bloody Tuesday”, she and her brother along with many others were jailed for their participation in an unsanctioned march to the Tuscaloosa Country Court House. She was a member of the Freedom’s Choir.

Following “Bloody Tuesday”, she served as secretary to the Reverend Dr. T.Y. Rogers, Jr., who was installed by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as Pastor of the First African Baptist Church and Leader of the Tuscaloosa Citizens for Action Committee, better known as TCAC.

Mrs. Wells has served on a number of Civil Rights panels and was a member of a team that made an oral history recording of their experiences in the Civil Rights Movement in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This recording is archived in the Library of New College at the University of Alabama.

She is also a member of the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Task Force. She was appointed by the President of Stillman to serve on the Alabama Bicentennial African American Heritage Project. She speaks to elementary students, college students, and organizations. Additionally, she has also been the subject of many Civil RIghts term papers and research projects. 

Wells was employed by Stillman and has held a number of positions. She is actively involved with the Local and National Alumni of Stillman and has served as President of both organizations. She was the recipient of the coveted Outstanding Alumni Award from the National Association For Equal Opportunity (NAFEO). 

She thanks God for the many miles she walked, the time she spent in jail, and the sacrifice of time and service to a cause that was and continues to be greater than she.

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