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.

Judge Sybil Cleveland is a Black History Maker of Alabama

"First of all, Black History is not just a reflective celebration to be thought about once a year during Black History Month. For me, Black History means carrying daily the memory, pride, and appreciation for the hard work and determination of the many Black men and women who courageously fought to build an inclusive nation that embraces the humanity of Black people and our contributions to society. Remembering our Black History enables me to appreciate the foundation built by our Ancestors, the challenges they had to overcome while remaining steadfastly vigilant in doing my part to build on their legacy." - Judge Sybil Cleveland

Judge Sybil Cleveland was officially appointed Municipal Court Judge for the City of Huntsville on May 7th, 1999 by the Huntsville City Council, making her the 2nd African American to hold office full-time as Judge in North Alabama. 

The youngest of five children, Judge Cleveland is the daughter of an Army Korean War Veteran and seamstress. She lost both of her parents before the age of 19. Despite facing two significant losses at a very young age she persevered and forged her way ro college, law school and ultimately became one of the youngest Judges to hold a full-time judgeship in the City of Huntsville. 

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Judge Cleveland is a native of Hartselle, Alabama and is a product of the Hartselle Public School System. In 1980 she graduated in the top 20% of her class from Hartselle High School. After receiving her diploma she furthered her education by attending Calhoun Community College and then transferred to the University of North Alabama where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in  Political Science in 1984. She then went on to earn her Juris Doctor Degree from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in 1990.

Amongst her academic achievements, Judge Cleveland has made valuable contributions to the state of Alabama. She implemented The State of Alabama’s First Municipal Mental Health Court in the Municipal Court of Huntsville, Alabama. In 2006 she completed studies at the National  Judicial College in Reno, Nevada regarding Mental Health issues in order to ensure that Huntsville’s Mental Health Court Program would be able to properly address Mental Health Issues, making her one of Alabama’s first formally trained judicial officials in Mental Health. 

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Judge Cleveland presides over a high-volume caseload that covers all facets of citizens' lives, but outside of the courtroom, she is involved in her community. She holds leadership seats on several boards and through mentorship, she emphasizes the importance of young people making key decisions early in their lives as she offers internships to students from a range of colleges and universities. With over 35 years of professional experience, Judge Sybil continues to be the epitome of black excellence. 

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