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.

Andrew Pernell is a Black History Maker of Alabama.

“Black history in these United States is inextricably tied to American history. The telling of black history in this country has been purposefully and successfully downgraded, diminished, disparaged, and denigrated; it became necessary to purposefully and successfully set aside (at least) one month of the year to tell the world of our rich history in this country –  replete with the infamous boat ride across the Atlantic, the horrors of slavery, the stifling constraints of Jim Crow laws, the humiliation of segregation, and the ongoing institutional discrimination and personal hatreds. We endure, we persist, we achieve–despite the odds against us. We straighten the bow in our back, and we rise!”-Andrew Pernell

Andrew Pernell was born on January 19, 1948, in the basement of the segregated Bessemer General Hospital in Bessemer, Alabama. He attended the segregated Robertstown Negro Elementary School in Bessemer. In high school, he participated in numerous marches and sit-ins in Birmingham. Mr. Pernell excelled in both academics and football. Following his graduation from Brighton High School in 1966, Mr. Pernell enrolled at the University of Alabama in the fall of 1966. While attending the Capstone, Mr. Pernell along with 4 other students became the first five black players to walk on to the historically segregated Crimson Tide football team. 

After graduating from the University of Alabama in 1970, Mr. Pernell worked in several and varied professional fields and is currently the owner of Kingdom Academy Child Care in Beachwood, Ohio. Furthering his education, he attended Western International University in Phoenix, Arizona, where he received an M.B.A degree and graduated with the academic distinction of Magna Cum Laude. 

Outside of his academic and business accomplishments, Mr. Pernell is a family man. He is married to Chelsea and they have three sons. Most recently he has written a book about his own experience of being one of the first five. The memoir is entitled, Alabama Crimson Tide: 1967 and the Undercurrents of Integration –The First Five – Before the Season Changed. The book discusses his experiences of silent expressions of racism at the University of Alabama.

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