Past Speakers

Ms. Eve Engle Kneeland

June 13, 2024 - Ms. Eve Engle Kneeland

Ms. Eve Engle Kneeland gave a presentation June 13, 2024, at 6 pm at the Vaughn-Morrow house on the Gee’s Bend quilters. From the early 1800’s, enslaved women from Gee’s Bend, Alabama pieced together scrapes of cloth as a practical means to provide warmth, unaware that they were creating artistic art forms inspired by their culture and experiences. The unique artistry of this region has endured, and the work continues to be much sought after. Gee’s Bend quilts are undisputedly viewed as an important contribution to the history of American art -- being housed in over thirty leading art museums and celebrated by the issuing of commemorative stamps by US Postal Services in 2006. One of the earliest Gee’s Bend quilts secured by an Episcopalian minister who discovered them whilst working in the Gee’s Bend area was on display. Ms. Kneeland holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Alabama.

Mr. Mark Usry

March 14, 2024 - Mr. Mark Usry

Mr. Mark Usry, the Digitization and Record Management Librarian at the University of West Alabama in Livingston gave a presentation March 14, 2024, at 6 pm at the Vaughn-Morrow house on the process the University uses to digitally archive documents. He also showcased some of the collections on which he has worked. Mr. Usry holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree in Archival Studies from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts degree in History from Jacksonville State University. He oversees the digitalization and archiving of documents within historical collections at the university.

Dr. Tina Jones

September 14, 2023 - Dr. Tina Jones

Dr. Tina N. Jones, Executive Director of the Division of Economic Development and Outreach gave a presentation September 14, 2023 at 6 pm at the Vaughn-Morrow house on the Black Belt Heritage Area and the Listen and Learn program. Dr. Jones has served as president for the board of directors for the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation and the Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area. She also serves on the Sumter County Fine Arts Council, the Alabama Folklife Association, the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, and Black Belt Treasures.

Dr. Scott Owens

August 10, 2023 - Dr. Scott W. Owens

Dr. Scott W. Owens gave a presentation on August 10, 2023, 6 pm at the Vaugh-Morrow House. The title of the presentation was “The Pleasant Ridge-King’s Bridge Skirmish, April 6, 1865.” Dr. Scott W. Owens was born in Tuscaloosa, reared in Pleasant Ridge, Greene County, graduated from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983, and has practiced veterinary medicine in Mobile County since 1987. With a lifelong passion for American and military history, he has published articles on the Civil War in West Alabama in the Alabama Review, the result of twenty-five years of research.