African American Leaders Discuss Social Changes and Impact on Business and Education within Huntsville

Huntsville’s African American business and community leaders will discuss social changes over the past 50+ years and how they have impacted business and education in North Alabama.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Business and the College of Education’s "Past, Present, and Future: A Black History Event" will be held on February 18th, at 5:30 p.m. at the Chan Auditorium located inside the Business Administrative Building. This event is free and open to all.

Sonnie Hereford IV will kick off the event as he shares his family's stories and experiences as he was the first African-American to integrate a public school in Alabama when he enrolled at Fifth Avenue School in Huntsville, Alabama. Today, Sonnie is known as one of Huntsville’s most notable influencers in civil rights.

The event will also include a panel of notable community business owners who will focus on how these social changes have impacted their businesses. The conversation will be a reflection of the past, discussion of the present, and looking towards the future.

Panelists include:

  • Karen Smith- Owner of the oldest black-owned business in North Alabama, Royal Funeral Home.
  • Thornton Stanley, Jr.- Recognized by President George W. Bush as the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Person of the Year and inducted into the Associated General Contractors of Alabama’s Construction Hall of Fame.
  • Rose Magers- Powell- 1984 Olympic volleyball silver medalist, Head Volleyball Coach at AAMU, and Owner of Rocket City Volleyball Club.
  • Marvin Battle, Jr.- Owner of Battle Construction, which has been in business for more than 63 years.
  • Hundley Batts, Sr.- Owner of Hundley Batts and Associates Insurance Agency and the co-owner of WEUP Radio Station.

This event is free and open to all, but we do ask guests to follow this link to RSVP.


Drew Hartt
College of Business
Coord, Marketing & Events


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