RCCR Demo Tour
This tour is an example of a Huntsville black history driving tour or civil rights era driving tour, using existing Clio entries. We hope to create a more extensive and detailed tour with RCCR Phase 2.
Councill High School was the first public school for African-Americans in the city of Huntsville when it opened in 1892. Councill High was the only high school available to African-American students until the integration of public high schools in 1965. The school was named for William Hooper Councill, founder of Alabama A&M University and noted African-American educator. Today, the City of Huntsville in cooperation with the William Hooper Councill Alumni Association is developing the school site as a community park.
This marker commemorates the oldest African American congregation in Alabama. William Harris organized the congregation in 1820 and served as the minister despite his enslavement. After the Civil War, the congregation built a brick church at this location. The church stood from 1872 to 1964 when the congregation constructed a new church on Belafonte Avenue. During the Civil War, the congregation assisted many former slaves as they attempted to emancipate themselves. The church, like many other Huntsville buildings, was destroyed during the war during the Union occupation of the city. The church was eligible for assistance from the Southern Claims Commission which was established during the Civil War to compensate Southern Unionists for their losses during the war.
Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University was first established in 1873 as a university for the education of African American students. After several name changes, the school was not fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools until 1963. The campus underwent significant renovation in 1996 under the organization of University President Dr. John T. Gibson. Today the school offers five undergraduate schools as well as graduate study.
This historical marker shares the history of Oakwood College which was established in 1896. The college was located at the site of a former plantation that included Dred Scott, the enslaved laborer who sued for his freedom in the influential 1857 Supreme Court case that divided the nation in the years prior to the Civil War. Scott came to Huntsville in 1818 and lived on the plantation of Peter and Elizabeth Taylor Blow before the family moved to Florence. The property later served as the plantation of slave cabins on the property served as housing for the first Oakwood students while Blow's mansion served as the home of the first female students. Dred Scott lived in Alabama for twelve years. Later in his life, Dred Scott was sold and accompanied his owner to states where slavery was illegal. Scott's time in a free state became the basis of one of the most influential Supreme Court decisions in American history.
The only Buffalo Soldier memorial east of the Mississippi River is located in Huntsville, Alabama. It’s on the property of the Academy of Academics and Arts. The memorial is a 10-foot-tall marker of black granite topped with a bronze statue depicting 10th Cavalry Sgt. George Berry riding his horse up Cuba’s San Juan Hill with the regimental flag.