Becoming Alabama is a statewide partnership for the planning and promotion of commemorative activities to observe the anniversaries of three major periods in Alabama history: the bicentennial of the Creek War and War of 1812, which was pivotal in the formation of the state; the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, which began with decisions made in Montgomery by the fledgling Confederate government; and the ongoing fiftieth anniversaries of major events in the civil rights movement, which had its greatest struggles and achievements in the churches, streets, and parks of Alabama.
The concept for Becoming Alabama began with a pragmatic assessment of the financial and logistical challenges posed by this rapid succession of anniversaries over the next several years. Given the budgetary restraints faced by nearly every historical and cultural organization in today’s economic climate, it made sense to seek efficiency in planning public programs, designing publicity, and developing educational resources.
The effort offered more than mere efficiency, however. When considered from a broader perspective, the three periods under consideration offered a unified theme for understanding the political, social, and economic forces that shaped—and continue to shape—Alabama.
Public programs associated with Becoming Alabama have been taking place since early 2010, and many more are already planned. A Becoming Alabama web site is currently under development. When launched, it will offer a timeline of historical events, a central listing of commemorative programs throughout the state, and links to local organizations.
In the meantime, we encourage organizations of every size to become involved with Becoming Alabama. To do so, begin discussing with your staff or leadership how your organization can promote a better understanding of Alabama history through commemoration of the Creek War, the Civil War, or the civil rights movement in the upcoming years. Join the Becoming Alabama e-mail list by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/becoming-alabama, and begin using the Becoming Alabama logo on your organization’s web site and promotional materials. Digital files in several formats are provided below for your use.