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INTEGRATION PIONEER • AUTHOR • ENTREPRENEUR & SOCIAL ACTIVIST
Andrew Pernell Mr. Pernell was born in the basement of the segregated Bessemer General Hospital in Bessemer, Alabama, on January 19, 1948. Mr. Pernell came of age in the ’60s during the Civil Rights Movement. He attended the segregated Robertstown Negro Elementary School in Bessemer. After completion of elementary school, Mr. Pernell was bused to the all-black Brighton High School in Brighton, Alabama, to continue his secondary education. While in high school, Mr. Pernell participated in numerous marches and sit-ins in the Birmingham (Alabama) area. Mr. Pernell excelled in both academics and football. After graduating from Brighton High School in 1966, Mr. Pernell began attending the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) in the fall of 1966. While at Alabama, Mr. Pernell and four other students became the first five black players to walk-on to the historically segregated University of Alabama football team. After graduating from the University of Alabama in 1970, Mr. Pernell worked in several and varied professional fields and currently owner—along with his wife—of Kingdom Academy Child Care Center in Beachwood, Ohio. Mr. Pernell earned his MBA from Western International University in Phoenix, Arizona, where he graduated with the academic distinction of Magna Cum Laude. Mr. Pernell is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership. Mr. Pernell is married to Chelsea and they have three sons: Brian Andre is a graduate of Columbia Southern University (Alabama) and is married to Brandi; they have two daughters-Braelyn and Gianna; Leland Christopher is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati (Ohio); and Brian Christopher is a student-athlete at Clarion University (Pennsylvania).
“I am not writing from a standpoint of placation or appeasement… “I am keeping it 100.” – Andrew Pernell of The University of Alabama’s ‘First Five’
Alabama Crimson Tide: 1967 and the Undercurrents of Integration The title of this book is a bit of a spin-off of Prof. John David Briley’s book Career in Crisis, Paul Bear Bryant and the 1971 Season of Change. Prof. Briley’s book shed some light on the season before the change, but with an emphasis on the changing season itself and its aftermath; however, the focus of this book highlights significant and relevant events before the season changed, interspersed with my commentary on race—which lies at the heart of this memorialization. It is almost impossible to write a book such as this, on the integration of sports at the University of Alabama in 1967, without discussing the multi-faceted construct of race, and I will not attempt such a feat in this book. If we were five white walk-ons in 1967, I am quite sure that there would have been no notice taken. There were white walk-ons in the fall of 1967, but there is no notoriety regarding their efforts; that’s the way it should have been with The First Five in 1967, but segregation created The First Five. 2021, 188 Pages, Softcover ISBN: 978-1-6495-7270-7
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“Segregation injures the soul or the mind of the segregated as well as the segregator. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority, while leaving the segregated with a false sense of inferiority.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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