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Alabama the Beautiful



On December 14, 1819, Alabama

Breathed itself beautiful


Alabama rocked itself into beauty

like “sweet tea time” on a front porch

A rocking chair, a square wooden table

Was all that was needed


Sweet lemon tea what turned

Alabama from heart break soul to lovely


All that porch drinking

Made them souls fancy the hue of all



From sweet cream tan to chocolate brown

met along the Mississippi River

To baptize the new Alabama

Something about if you emerge the soul in water the troubling ways become lost in the

Wrinkle of the water—Hallelujah


Worlds on end saw Alabama

Shape itself lovely


That’s why when you riding down 65 south

You see that sign before you:


 “Alabama the beautiful”


Dr. Ramona L. Hyman is a writer, speaker, and professor “whose words are powerful memories for us to walk in the 21st century,” says Sonia Sanchez. Presently, Hyman serves as Chair and Professor of the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Oakwood University. Dr. Hyman is a graduate of Temple University (BA), Andrews University (MA), and earned her PhD from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She is the author of I Am Black America. Of her literary work, African American critic Dr. Joyce Joyce says, “Hyman challenges audiences to explore a poetic imagination grounded in a feel for the southern landscape, African-American literary and political history, Black spirituality, and a creative fusion of Black folk speech with a Euro-American poetic vernacular. Dr. Ramona L. Hyman emerges as a strong Black intellectual poetic voice.”

Photo by Emily Corley on Unsplash


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