Known as the "City of Champions" located in Mobile County is the city of Prichard, Alabama also known by many of the residents from the area as "P.A."
Prichard began as a settlement in the 1830s bordering Telegraph Road (known now as U.S. Highway 43) It remained largely unsettled until the Clotilde landed in Mobile Bay prior to the Civil War. Africatown evolved into a greater part of the Plateau/Magazine area which developed along Telegraph Road, and eventually, Plateau and Magazine had their territory split between Mobile and Prichard.
In 1972, while still a majority white city, Prichard elected its first black Mayor, Algernon Johnson (A.J.) Cooper, who would serve 2 terms as Prichard's mayor, and would eventually serve in the administration of President Bill Clinton. In 1968, Cooper founded the Black American Law Students Association at New York University. While Mayor Cooper was popular with both blacks and whites, however, he engaged in many battles with the Prichard City Council during his tenure.
In the 1980s and 1990s problems with crime, drugs and middle class flight were elevated when the area's major financial and employment base left with the closing of factories operated by Scott Paper Companyand International Paper. This devastated the area and the city struggled to recover. In 1999, the city declared bankruptcy.
So life in the historical city of Prichard has changed drastically over the years and I had the pleasure of speaking with one young man, David Norwood, (31) a former classmate of C.F. Vigor High School who felt the need to step up and speak out on how these changes in the city of P.A. have caused a high rate in criminal activity amongst our youth.
"They have nothing to do because the city has torn down many of the basketball goals and recreational centers", he stated.
David went on to state that he really wants city officials and the public to see how things have changed since we were young kids growing up in the area. Norwood states that he feels his story will help citizens of the area and city officials to wake up and help this historical city to flourish again for the younger generation and cut back on crime rates.
So I want everyone to tune into the blog later this week as David Norwood shares his story,
"Growing Up in Prichard, Alabama".