MMofA and USA welcome Alabama historian Scotty E. Kirkland for lecture

Posted on: November 16th, 2021

MOBILE, Ala. – On December 2, 2021, at 6 pm, Mobile Museum of Art welcomes Alabama historian Scotty E. Kirkland to the University of South Alabama’s Marx Library for a lecture about state and local Civil Rights history inspired by the special exhibition, Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956.

Kirkland holds degrees in history and political science from Troy University and the University of South Alabama. He is the coordinator of exhibitions, publications, and programs at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. He authored the catalog for the award-winning bicentennial exhibition, We the People: Alabama’s Defining Document, and is currently working on a book on politics and race in twentieth-century Mobile.

Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956 is an exhibition of photographs that document the everyday activities and rituals of one extended black family, the Thorntons, in Mobile and Shady Grove, Alabama, during segregation. Life magazine asked Parks to shoot the photo essay shortly after the Montgomery bus boycotts. The photographs were published in 1956 and became known around the work for helping inspire the national civil rights movement. The exhibition closes on December 30, 2021.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, guests may attend in person or via Zoom. RSVPs are highly encouraged; please respond at

The Gordon Parks exhibition was generously underwritten by Merceria Ludgood, Mobile County Commission District One, with additional educational outreach provided by The Altmayer Charitable Trust. This lecture and other programming for the exhibition were also provided by Mobile City Council members Joel Daves (District 5), Gina Gregory (District 7), and C.J. Small (District 3) as well as former Mobile City Council members Bess Rich (District 6), Frederick D. Richardson, Jr. (District 1), and John C. Williams (District 4).

Operating support for MMofA is provided by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Mobile. For more information, visit