Connect with us

Alabama

‘A narrative of triumph’: a powerful 17-acre site in Alabama remembers enslavement

Published

on

‘A narrative of triumph’: a powerful 17-acre site in Alabama remembers enslavement


“The morning after our whipping, we all had to go to work, as if nothing had happened. I was so sore I could hardly do anything,” recalled James Matthews, who, like many enslaved people after a severe whipping, ran away into the woods. “I have known a great many who never came back; they were whipped so bad they never got well, but died in the woods, and their bodies have been found by people hunting. White men come in sometimes with collars and chains and bells, which they had taken from dead slaves. They just take off their irons and then leave them, and think no more about them.”

This quotation from Matthews’s Recollections of Slavery by a Runaway Slave (1838) appears on a panel in the woodland setting of the Freedom Monument Sculpture Park in Montgomery, Alabama, a seamless blend of art and history opening on the banks of the Alabama River on 27 March. It is one of many first-person accounts that serve as a rebuke to historical amnesia, to deletion by indifference, to those who “think no more about them”. The park’s artefacts and sculptures and its climactic monument are a radical act of remembrance rooted in a sense of place.

Whereas commemoration of the Holocaust has a locus in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum and other sites across Europe, tracing the memory of the 10 million Black people enslaved in America can often feel like a succession of absences. Plantations survive but with a built environment that makes it hard to avoid the centrality of the enslaver. Countless graves and cemeteries of the formerly enslaved are buried under interstate highways, shopping malls or car parks. Some African Americans travel to west Africa in search of a tangible connection with ancestors.

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a non-profit organisation that already runs the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, seeks to close this gap with the 17-acre site built for an estimated $12m to $15m. Visitors can arrive by boat on the same waters that once trafficked enslaved people, then step inside 170-year-old dwellings from cotton plantations as well as recreations of holding pens and railway carriages. They will hear trains running on nearby railway tracks built by enslaved hands.

Advertisement
Photograph: Equal Justice Initiative

Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the EJI, says in an interview: “We’ve done a poor job in America of reckoning with our history of slavery. There just aren’t places people can go and have an honest encounter with that history that centres on the lives of enslaved people. In Europe, what’s happened in Germany, in Berlin and other cities, has made Holocaust memorials and sites of remembrance such powerful places. When you go to the camps, it’s hard to avoid the power and the weight of that history.

“We’ve avoided confronting the weight of our history in ways that have undermined our ability to achieve the sort of progress and justice that many of us want. I do hope that people will come here and be sobered by the history but also inspired by the people who survived, endured, persevered and went on to commit to building an America that has so much potential.”

The river is the first artefact. Forming just north of Montgomery and flowing 318 miles, it was bordered by plantations and forced labour camps and traversed for decades by boats carrying 200 enslaved people at a time. To be trafficked south by steamship – in overcrowded conditions with little protection from the elements – was to be “sold down the river” .

One enslaved person forced to work on a river boat recalled: “A drove of slaves on a southern steamboat, bound for the cotton or sugar regions, is an occurrence so common, that no one, not even the passengers, appear to notice it, though they clank their chains at every step.”

Once disembarked, visitors follow a path through the sculpture park’s native elm, oak, sycamore, cottonwood and chinaberry trees and survey art in an evocative natural landscape. Eva Oertli and Beat Huber’s 2014 concrete sculpture, The Caring Hand, presents five giant fingers protruding from the earth around a tree as the river flows beyond.

Advertisement

It is one of several pieces – about half of which were specially commissioned – that achieve the monumentality the space demands. At the entrance, Simone Leigh’s Brick House is a 16ft-tall bronze bust of a Black woman without eyes and a torso combining the forms of a skirt and a clay house (previously seen along New York City’s High Line). The Ghanaian sculptor Kwame Akoto-Bamfo’s bronze We Am Very Cold depicts several figures, including a child, contorted as if in a perpetual storm. David Tanych’s steel Free at Last is an 8ft-diameter ball with a giant chain and open shackle.

Photograph: Equal Justice Initiative

Kehinde Wiley’s An Archaeology of Silence stands 17.5ft high. Invoking the visual language of heroes and martyrs in European historical art, it depicts a shirtless man in jeans and sneakers draped limply over a regal horse, acknowledging the legacy of slavery in lynchings, police brutality and other violence against Black bodies – yet with a grace and vitality that hints at resurrection.

Brad Spencer’s From the Ground Up depicts a life-size man, woman and child made entirely of brick. An accompanying panel notes that the tiny fingerprints of enslaved children who turned bricks as they dried can be seen today on the bricks of historic buildings in Charleston, South Carolina. Visitors to the park can see and touch bricks made by enslaved people 175 years ago.

The park performs a further act of excavation. For more than three centuries enslavers often decided what enslaved people were called; the US Census recorded them only with a number. After the civil war, some 4 million newly freed Black people were able to formally record a surname in the 1870 census. All 122,000 of these surnames are inscribed on the National Monument to Freedom, a 43ft-tall, 150ft-long wall angled like an open book, its concrete clad with a bronze-gold metal facade that changes with the light.

Stevenson, 64, a public interest lawyer revered for his work on prison reform and death row, comments: “The enduring truth about enslaved people was their capacity to love, to find and create family and relationships that allowed them to survive and endure and overcome the brutality and I think that should be celebrated.

Advertisement

“There’s a narrative of triumph that we need to acknowledge and the monument is a gesture toward that, as a physical space but also as a way of naming names, making personal, making human this history. For people who are descendants to come and see that name and have a tangible connection made to that legacy is important and necessary.”

Photograph: Equal Justice Initiative ∕ Human Pictures

There is no more fitting venue for the park than Montgomery, capital of Alabama (a state that Donald Trump won by 35 percentage points in 2020) and crucible of American contradictions. It has witnessed one of the most conspicuous slave trading communities in the nation but also an act of courage by Rosa Parks that ignited the civil rights movement (a statue of Parks marks the spot where in 1955 she boarded the bus where she would refuse to give up her seat to a white man).

On a six-acre rise overlooking the city, Stevenson built a memorial – comprising 800 corten steel monuments – to more than 4,400 Black people killed in racial terror lynchings between 1877 and 1950. But this is also a city where the Alabama state capitol (built by enslaved brickmakers and bricklayers) still features a heroic monument to the Confederacy, the breakaway southern states that fought to preserve slavery, and a statue of Jefferson Davis, inaugurated here as its first president in 1861.

Inside there are still portraits of the Confederate general Robert E Lee and Governor George Wallace, who declared in 1963: “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Confederate banknotes are still displayed in the old treasurer’s office while eight murals inside the capitol dome still include “Secession and the Confederacy, Inauguration of President Jefferson Davis, 1861” and “Wealth and Leisure Produce the Golden Period of Antebellum Life in Alabama, 1840-1860”.

Last week, at the nearby First White House of the Confederacy, a tour guide could be heard enthusing to white tourists, “You’re on the Jefferson Davis trail!” as a Black woman entered wearing a T-shirt that said: “But still, like air, I’ll rise – Maya Angelou.”

Advertisement

Rarely is the American paradox felt so keenly. In the jarring juxtaposition of progressivism versus revanchism, of the beauty of Stevenson’s vision versus the mausoleums of white supremacy, how does he avoid a permanent sense of whiplash? “We’re in an era of transition,” he muses philosophically. “When I moved here in the 1980s, there were 59 markers and monuments to the Confederacy and you couldn’t find the word slave, slavery or enslavement anywhere in the city landscape.

Photograph: Equal Justice Initiative ∕ Human Pictures

“It was a part of a history that no one acknowledged, let alone discussed, and we are still under the cloud of a historical narrative that is false and unhealthy about the greatness of ‘the lost cause’ where we romanticise this effort to preserve slavery and to maintain white supremacy. That has to be challenged and we’re going to have to move from that and you’re slowly beginning to see that.”

Until this year, Stevenson notes, the three biggest high schools in Montgomery, with student populations that are 98% Black, were named after Confederates – but not any more. “There is some sobering around this effort to celebrate people who did horrific things, just like it would be unconscionable to go to Germany and see Adolf Hitler statues or monuments to the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

“We’ve got to reckon with the fact that we are glorifying people who were insurrectionist, tried to destroy this nation, represented a commitment to a racial order that was corrupt by this false idea that Black people are not as good as white people. With each year and each decade, we’re going to have to do more to get to a more honest space.

“That hasn’t happened in the way that it will need to happen in Alabama but it is happening. We are on that path and I don’t think that we can be a schizophrenic about history. History is history and we need to reckon with it and, when we reckon with it, we’ll find the courage to celebrate people – white people included – who did extraordinarily honourable things.”

Advertisement

Stevenson, author of the 2014 memoir Just Mercy, which became a 2019 film starring Michael B Jordan, likes to work on his historical projects covertly until they are ready to go public, thereby avoiding prejudgment by the unnerved, the resentful and the downright racist. You could call him a stealth truth bomber. The community then generally embraces his efforts, not least because they attract visitors who boost the local economy.

Photograph: Equal Justice Initiative ∕ Human Pictures

The Legacy Museum, which opened in 2018 and moved to a new, greatly expanded building on the site of a former cotton warehouse three years later, has few original artefacts but draws a compelling line from slavery to mass incarceration through narrative, interactive, newspaper excerpts, photos, statistics, videos, works of art and imagination. A haunting exhibit contains 800 jars of soil collected from lynching sites around the country as part of EJI’s Community Remembrance Project.

Now it is the turn of the Freedom Monument Sculpture Park to make the intangible tangible. Bricks. Names. Elms, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods and chinaberries. A river and a railway. Love in the midst of agony. Speaking in Montgomery in 1965, Martin Luther King observed: “The climactic conflicts always were fought and won on Alabama soil.”

Stevenson observes: “The existence and the emergence of these truth-telling spaces allows us to say, look, if we can do this in Montgomery, Alabama, there’s not another place in America that can say, ‘They did that in Montgomery but we couldn’t possibly do it here.’ That’s the power of this place collectively because we are steeped in that long history of denial and resistance to ending slavery, to ending lynching, to ending segregation. We have an opportunity to be on the other side of this movement to commit to truth that will give us a unique credibility and power.”



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Alabama

Corporate Power Has Long Dominated Alabama. Autoworkers May Change That.

Published

on

Corporate Power Has Long Dominated Alabama. Autoworkers May Change That.


Last week, the United Auto Workers (UAW) notched a historic victory when workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted decisively to unionize. This is the first triumph in the UAW’s ambitious new campaign to organize over a dozen nonunion auto plants across the U.S., especially in the South.

Now the focus moves to Vance, Alabama, where 5,000 Mercedes-Benz workers will vote on a union in mid-May. The UAW also says that over 30 percent of autoworkers at the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama, have so far signed union cards.

The bosses of Alabama are waging a desperate anti-union blitz to prevent a UAW victory. At the statewide level, a key actor behind this is the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), composed of the state’s most powerful corporate interests. The BCA started an anti-UAW website and has been publishing anti-union op-eds while allying closely with state politicians, especially Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

The BCA is more than just a business group. A Truthout analysis found that it is a coordinating nexus for Alabama’s ultra-wealthy corporations whose owners and executives run the state. The small group of leaders who oversee the BCA’s day-to-day governance represent Alabama’s most powerful corporations, from its biggest utility company to its biggest health care provider and its biggest bank. Some of these BCA officers and executive committee members rake in tens of millions in CEO pay and represent corporations run by billionaires, all while the BCA tries to prevent autoworkers from simply having a union.

Advertisement

The BCA exerts influence through political and interpersonal networks, campaign donations, lobbying efforts, corporate philanthropy and schmoozy gatherings with politicians. Top elected officials, like Governor Ivey, are firmly in the BCA’s pocket. Alabama Sen. Katie Britt is the former CEO and president of the BCA.

In taking on the BCA and its union-busting campaign, autoworkers aren’t just fighting for themselves. They’re taking on the state’s organized ruling class — an interlocked web of powerful automakers, utilities, banks, and more — that has kept Alabama one of the poorest states in the U.S.

Alabama’s War on Workers

The BCA sees the autoworker union drive as an existential threat to its own class rule and its decades-long campaign to maintain Alabama as an anti-union fortress.

Corporate power has always formed and mobilized associations that unite bosses to fight the working class when it strikes or tries to unionize. The BCA was founded in 1985 to advance the interests of the state’s corporate class through a well-funded influence operation aimed at shaping legislation and politics.

Advertisement

The very corporate interests that want to stop Alabama workers from unionizing are also profiting from the high utility bills paid by autoworkers and their communities.

The BCA is Alabama’s “exclusive affiliate” with two powerful national corporate associations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, both committed to opposing unions and crushing pro-worker legislation.

Today, the BCA is the key vehicle through which the state’s ruling class — including its various metropolitan business groups and major corporations — coordinates political efforts to advance the generalized interests of capital in Alabama, such as preempting laws to raise the minimum wage.

The group’s anti-UAW website says the BCA is “conducting the Alabama Strong Campaign as an independent advocate for the collective business interests of the whole Alabama business community.”

The power and money behind the BCA rests with its board of directors, an interlocking network of 135 members who almost entirely represent Alabama corporations and business associations, including, as Jacobin’s Alex Press notes, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Honda.

Who Runs the Business Council of Alabama?

The BCA’s closer day-to-day governance is overseen by a smaller group of 15 board officers and executive committee members who represent some of the state’s most powerful corporations, which are also top donors to the BCA’s political action committee, ProgressPAC.

Advertisement

BCA chairman John Turner is the president and CEO of Regions Bank, by far the biggest bank in Alabama. Turner raked in over $38 million in total compensation over the past three years.

The most powerful force among the BCA leadership is Alabama Power, the state’s behemoth electric utility. Alabama Power’s former CEO took in over $20 million in total compensation from 2019 to 2021. Alabama Power is a subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the most powerful utility corporations in the nation, whose former CEO took in over $67 million from 2020 to 2022.

More than a quarter of the BCA’s executive leadership — 4 out of 15 members — have top leadership and governance positions with Alabama Power. BCA Executive Committee member Jeff Peoples is the chair and CEO of Alabama Power, while BCA First Vice Chairman Kevin Savoy, BCA Secretary Charisse Stokes and BCA Executive Committee member Angus Cooper III are all board directors of Alabama Power. Two members of BCA’s larger board, Bobbie Knight and Phillip Webb, are also Alabama Power directors.

Alabama Power runs the dirtiest power plant in the entire nation. Despite being one of the poorest U.S. states, Alabama has among the highest residential electricity bills in the nation. In other words, the very corporate interests that run the BCA and want to stop Alabama workers from unionizing are also profiting from the high utility bills paid by autoworkers and their communities.

The BCA also represents Alabama’s only billionaire, Jimmy Rane, the founder and CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving, whose YellaWood lumber products are sold at Home Depot. The vice president of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Kevin Savoy, is the first vice chairman of the BCA.

Advertisement

Other BCA officers represent other heights of corporate power in Alabama: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the largest health insurer in the state; Protective Life Corporation, a powerful financial services and insurance company; ProgressRail, a railroad supplies and services company that is a subsidiary of Caterpillar; and the Cooper Group, with extensive stevedoring and maritime holdings; and more.

Ivey’s Ties to the BCA

The BCA’s most powerful anti-union partner has been Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who has unceasingly campaigned in strong opposition to autoworker unionization.

While she’s technically an elected official, Ivey should be understood as a direct arm of the BCA.

According to a Truthout analysis of campaign finance data from Follow the Money, seven of Ivey’s top dozen campaign donors from the 2021-2022 election cycle are tied to the BCA. Five of Ivey’s top dozen donors represent officers and executive committee members of the BCA or the BCA itself.

The BCA also gave Ivey another $155,000 combined in 2014 and 2018 and $10,000 more in March 2023, all through its ProgressPAC. In 2018, billionaire Jimmy Rane — again, the state’s only billionaire, whose company is represented in the BCA’s top leadership — was Ivey’s top donor with $300,000, and he gave her $100,000 in 2022.

Ivey refers to the UAW, a labor union that thousands of Alabama autoworkers support, as “special interests.” But she is in fact bankrolled by huge donations from big businesses. The BCA corporate network — combined with loads of right-wing dark money — is quite literally financing and propping up Ivey’s political career.

Moreover, former top BCA staffers help run Ivey’s administration. Ivey’s Deputy Chief of Staff Nathan Lindsay worked for the BCA for eight years, including as executive director of its political action committee. Ivey’s Director of Legislative Affairs Drew Harrell worked for three years at the BCA, including as vice president of government affairs and executive director of the BCA’s political action committee.

Ivey’s communications director from 2019 to 2021, Leah Garner, worked at the BCA from 2013 to 2019 as director of governmental affairs and advocacy. Brooks McClendon, Ivey’s other deputy chief of staff, worked five years for Manufacture Alabama, a manufacturing business association whose leadership includes Toyota and other BCA board members.

Advertisement

Ivey is also a regular at BCA awards ceremonies and speaking events. The BCA enjoys visits to the governor’s office.

BCA influence also stretches to the federal level: U.S. Sen. Katie Britt, who infamously bungled the GOP response to the 2024 State of the Union address, was the CEO and president of the BCA from January 2019 through June 2021. In 2020, Britt was compensated more than $440,000 by the BCA. Her husband, Wesley Britt, is a lobbyist with Fine Geddie, a powerful lobbying firm that was the second top donor ($740,000) to Kay Ivey in 2022 and has former BCA employees and advisers on staff and has sponsored BCA conferences.

Big Campaign Donations and Revolving Door Lobbyists

Other arms of the BCA influence operation include a well-funded political action committee (PAC) and a slew of revolving door lobbyists.

The BCA oversees ProgressPAC, which views elections as “a battle” for ensuring “a pro-business majority” in the state legislature. Through ProgressPAC, the BCA has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to state politicians and judges over the past decade.

The UAW’s fight to unionize also represents a larger struggle against the organized corporate power structure that has long held down the living standards of Alabama’s working people.

ProgressPAC gets significant funding through big infusions of corporate donations. Over the past year alone, it has disclosed “major” contributions that total $380,000 from some of Alabama’s most powerful corporations, many of which are represented as BCA officers and executive committee members, including Regions Bank, Protective Life Corporation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Great Southern Wood Preserving, and several others.

Advertisement

(Warrior Met Coal, which fought striking coal miners for two years, and is also a BCA board member, has been a big ProgressPAC donor — giving $15,000 in 2022).

The BCA also employs a team of lobbyists from the state’s most powerful firms, some of whom have significant revolving door ties to the state government. For example, Josh O. Blades was chief of staff to former Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and deputy chief of staff to former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley. Lobbyist Raymond L. Bell is the former chair of the State of Alabama Ethics Commission.

Beyond lobbying, BCA leaders often have former powerful positions in the state government.

BCA executive vice president Clay Scofield is the former majority leader in the Alabama Senate. BCA political strategist Paul Shashy managed Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville’s U.S. Senate runs. BCA Director of Governmental Affairs and Executive Director of ProgressPAC Caroline Franklin previously served several Alabama state elected officials. Former BCA CEO Robin Stone served in the cabinet of former Republican Gov. Bob Riley as director of legislative affairs.

The BCA also regularly hosts receptions and conferences where lobbyists, corporate leaders and elected officials can schmooze while golfing and sipping cocktails. Some corporations — Alabama Power, Regions Bank, and others — pay upwards of $10,000 or more to sponsor these events. Top state politicians like Governor Ivey and Senator Tuberville flock to these gatherings, and the BCA brings in sports celebrities like Peyton Manning to speak. BCA members also burnish their reputations by giving millions to University of Alabama sports teams.

Taking on Alabama’s Entrenched Corporate Power

If Alabama autoworkers vote to unionize in mid-May, it’ll be the second major victory in the UAW’s new organizing campaign, with more wins likely to come.

Advertisement

But in a real way, the UAW’s fight to unionize Alabama autoworkers also represents a larger struggle against the organized corporate power structure that dominates the state and has long held down the living standards of Alabama’s working people.

The UAW union drive is pitting Alabama’s 99 percent against its 1 percent — and we know which side the Business Council of America represents.

Join us in defending the truth before it’s too late

The future of independent journalism is uncertain, and the consequences of losing it are too grave to ignore. To ensure Truthout remains safe, strong, and free, we need to raise $29,000 in the next 36 hours. Every dollar raised goes directly toward the costs of producing news you can trust.

Please give what you can — because by supporting us with a tax-deductible donation, you’re not just preserving a source of news, you’re helping to safeguard what’s left of our democracy.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Alabama

Eleven-Run Third Inning Propels Alabama Baseball to Midweek Win Over Samford

Published

on

Eleven-Run Third Inning Propels Alabama Baseball to Midweek Win Over Samford


TUSCALOOSA, Ala.— The three runs the No. 23 Alabama baseball team scored in the fifth inning would not have been enough to defeat Samford on Tuesday night. Every other home half-inning apart from that fifth was scoreless, except the third. In the third inning, the Crimson Tide (26-15, 7-11 SEC) scored 11 runs.

The Bulldogs (26-14, 10-2 SoCon) fell to the home team at Sewell-Thomas Stadium by a 14-5 margin, bolstered largely by that third-inning offensive onslaught. The first time these two teams met, Samford drew to within one in the ninth inning, but could not muster such a rally in the rematch.

“That’s a really good team,” Alabama head coach Rob Vaughn said. “All in all, just a really good team win… I didn’t think these guys flinched.” Vaughn’s team had dropped its past two midweeks. The second of those prompted him to say the Crimson Tide simply hadn’t played well enough.

Samford took it to Crimson Tide started Kade Snell in the top of the second inning, plating four runs off him with back-to-back RBI doubles and a two-run home run by leadoff man Garrett Staton. Vaughn attributed Snell’s issues to not finishing at-bats. When Alabama third baseman Gage Miller stepped into the batter’s box to lead off the home third, his squad faced a 4-0 deficit.

Advertisement

Three two-run home runs, all to left field, gave Alabama a 6-4 lead. Right fielder Evan Sleight hit the one which broke the tie for the last time. “When it gets to this time of the year, you really gotta just lock in with the approach,” Sleight said. “That was a great inning for us, and that’s a glimpse into what we can do as a lineup.”

Freshman shortstop Justin Lebron hit the first of the three home runs, initially slashing the deficit in half. He went 3-5 for the evening. “I was just seeing the ball really well today, and I was just trying to do my job in certain cases,” he said.

“I tell him [Lebron all the time, I’m so proud of him,” Sleight said. “As a freshman, especially in the SEC, it’s extremely challenging… The head on his shoulders is something I’ve actually never seen before.” Lebron said leadership from players like Sleight has allowed him to settle in and continue to learn.

The other home run in the inning belonged to TJ McCants, bringing his season total to 13 and further increasing the single-season career best he set once he entered double digits. His opposite-field blast tied the game. The wheels came off from there for Samford, which used three pitchers in the inning and eight on the night. Alex Gaeto, who gave up the home run to Sleight, was tagged with the loss.

The home runs did not encompass all the third-inning damage. Lebron also had a double for two runs batted in, as did first baseman Will Hodo, who himself scored the last run of the inning on a passed ball. Samford scored one more run in the top of the fifth and Alabama responded with three.

Advertisement

As for the Crimson Tide pitching, the coaching staff took a by-committee approach after Snell’s exit, with freshman reliever Austin Morris earning the win. “A-Mo was great tonight,” Vaughn said. “Same thing with Zane Probst… Aidan Moza was outstanding.. and then Braylon [Myers] was great at the end.” Freshman Ariston Veasey made his Alabama debut and was lifted after issuing back-to-back walks, but Vaughn was happy he had a chance to get his feet wet. He said some of those players will be relied on to get outs during the weekend’s SEC series against Ole Miss.

“That’s part of what makes college baseball awesome,” Vaughn said of facing a challenge like playing Ole Miss on the road. He plans on reminding his players not to allow those hostile crowds to make them emotional in negative ways. “When you get emotional, you get outside of yourself,” Vaughn said. “At the end of the day, that’s what makes college baseball the greatest thing ever. We get to go on the road in front of two great crowds, and two really good teams [Ole Miss and Mississippi State] these next two weekends. The Ole Miss series runs from Thursday to Saturday.

Vaughn provided an update on starting pitcher Ben Hess, who took a comebacker off his lower leg against Texas A&M and left the game. He will start Friday in Oxford, Miss. “It was more scary than anything,” said Vaughn. He’s been pleased with his players’ energy on short turnarounds, as they have now had multiple scheduled Thursday-Saturday weekends.

“SEC games aren’t hard to get up for,” Vaughn said. As an example of the energy he likes to see, he used injured starter Riley Quick, likening himself to Quick’s get-back coach if the two were on a football field. “That dude is right next to me,” he said. “That permeates down… They’re into every single pitch, and that matters.” The turning point, he said, was after the Kentucky series.

There are not a lot of home games left (three, to be exact). The Crimson Tide faces a major test in Mississippi over the course of the next couple of weekends. It got the result it wanted on Tuesday night, overcoming an area (midweeks) that had become problematic. However, even in April, the SEC schedule is far from over. A cohesive effort is what’s needed to win, and Alabama brought that on Tuesday.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Alabama

Alabama legislators plan Wednesday meeting on gambling bill • Alabama Reflector

Published

on

Alabama legislators plan Wednesday meeting on gambling bill • Alabama Reflector


Alabama legislators plan to hold a meeting Wednesday on a proposed gambling package that has divided the House and Senate. 

Three members of a conference committee assigned to resolve differences between the chambers over the package said in separate interviews Tuesday that they held a meeting on the bill on Monday. 

The House version, passed in February, included a lottery and authorized up to seven casinos and sports betting around the state. It also directed the governor to enter a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, a federally-recognized tribe that runs casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka.  

Advertisement

GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX

The Senate version, passed last month, stripped out everything but the compact and the lottery. The House and Senate also differed on disbursement of revenues and the date of the election on an amendment authorizing gambling. 

Advertisement

The Senate conferees are Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore; Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro; and Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman. The House conferees are Sam Jones, D-Mobile; Rep. Chris Blackshear, R-Smiths Station; and Rep. Andy Whitt, R-Harvest.

Singleton and Albritton are longtime proponents of gambling legislation. Whitt and Blackshear developed the original House legislation.

Gudger, Albritton and Whitt said there was a meeting of some members on Monday and that they plan to have a public meeting Wednesday. As of mid-Tuesday afternoon, it had not been publicly announced on the Legislature’s website.

In separate interviews, Gudger and Albritton declined to share who was present at the Monday meeting.

“I’m only accountable for myself,” said Albritton. “I’m not going to snitch.” 

Advertisement

Albritton said he was not sure if everyone was invited to the Monday meeting.

Singleton said, if there was a meeting Monday, he was not invited.

“If they’ve been meeting without me, I’m going to get on somebody but– I don’t like that,” he said. 

There also seem to be disagreement over the level of agreement.

Gudger said there was more common ground than expected. Whitt said the conferees are “working through the process.”

Advertisement

Albritton said there was very little agreement.

“Not much, no, I don’t think so,” he said. “There’s trying to do a Venn diagram on what is and what isn’t. Every time you get those balloons, they bounce off each other.”

Alander Rocha contributed to this report.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending