Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 10 - The Wilcox Co./Camden, AL Project

Taken at the Snow Hill Institute

After another healthy breakfast at Subway, we met up with our friends and team members from the two high schools at Black Belt Treasures in downtown Camden, and headed out on another beautiful drive in the country side to visit the Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute; a historic place we have been hearing about all summer.

Taken at the Snow Hill Institute

Today we had the great honor of meeting Dr. Donald Stone, the grandson of Dr. William J. Edwards, who founded the Snow Hill Institute.  Dr. Stone imparted on us the love he has for his family history and the vision he has for the future of the Snow Hill Institute. We spent around thirty minutes  sitting on the edge of our seats as he told us the fascinating story of his grandfather’s life and the history of not only the Institute, but of that era.

Taken at the Snow Hill Institute
The story behind the Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute and its ambitious founder is one of hardship, toil, love, heartbreak, determination, resilience, courage, and resourcefulness, which resulted in the movement coined by Dr. Donald Stone, the founder’s grandson, as the “Negro Southern Rural School Movement.”  This movement changed the course of history and not only became the birthplace of African American higher education, but became an epicenter for learning and the spreading of knowledge to everyone.  

Taken at the Snow Hill Institute

The Snow Hill Institute is truly a hidden treasure of Wilcox County.  If the current state of the Institute were turned around, the Snow Hill Institute has the potential of being one of the main attractions for the county.  Above the obvious restoration of buildings and land, the Snow Hill Institute has aspirations of having a building dedicated as a museum and one as a library and keeper of historic records. The Snow Hill Institute has the potential of being a prime tourist stop. One key attraction that would bring people in droves is the one man play and history presentation by Dr. Donald Stone.

Today, there is an ongoing effort to bring this dream to life. We at UAB, hope that we will continue to be given the opportunity, privilege, and honor, to play a small part in making this dream a reality.

The rest of the day we spent working on the final document that we will be presenting to the Chamber of Commerce, Black Belt Treasurers, and the UAB Business School Dean’s Office.

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