Learning lessons through Sweet Home History

I love a good story, and as a result I’m a sucker for history. But that’s a love I didn’t discover until my mid-20s. I’ve spent the decade since alternately lamenting that we’re taught history before many of us care about it and catching up on all I have to relearn.

But Alabama history was never part of my formal education. Because I grew up in Florida, I studied that state in fourth grade. I left that state at age 21. Now, my bookshelves are filled with books about Birmingham and Alabama. My family has been in this area for two centuries, and I’m eager to understand it.

That’s why my friend Rachel Callahan asked me to help with her daughter Ali’s Alabama history curriculum. We brainstormed reading material over coffee, but soon another idea developed: What if I joined them as they traveled to historic sites from the state’s past?

Last month we launched Sweet Home History, a part of AL.com’s Southern Girls Project. I’ve gathered snippets from the articles published so far in the StoryMap above. Join us as Ali, Rachel, 5-year-old Noah and I learn about the state we call home.

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