Heritage Hall 360A
Research and Teaching Interests: Civil Rights, Jim Crow segregation and desegregation, Birmingham and Alabama, women's work, oral history, and historic preservation/public history
Office Hours: By appointment
- BA, Samford University, 1975
- MA, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1977
- Post-graduate work, University of Alabama, 1977-1981; University of Pennsylvania, 1979-1980
My 30-plus year career has been on a dual track: one path in academia, and the other in historic preservation and public history. For the first 20 years I worked full-time as the first historic preservationist for the City of Birmingham and as a private consultant in the field; I also taught history as adjunct faculty at UAB and Miles College. The roles then reversed and I became full-time faculty and Director of Undergraduate Programs for the History Department, while remaining active in the fields of historic preservation and public history.
In my capacity as a preservationist for Birmingham I wrote the city's historic preservation ordinance. I took a lead role in nearly every downtown historic revitalization project from 1983-2006, as well as in many neighborhood initiatives. Through this work I became an expert in downtown Birmingham and its many historic neighborhoods, and also learned how history, preservation, and civic improvement are intricately related.
I bring this knowledge of Birmingham and its environs to my career as an academician. It informs my approach to teaching history at UAB and permits me to blend ivory-tower ideas and processes with hands-on civic knowledge. It has also taught me that academic historians have a vital role to play in the life of every community.
- Birmingham Mansions, Mines, and Jim Crow
- Caught on Camera: A Comparison of the Jim Crow South and South African Apartheid, co-taught with Dr. Robert Jefferson
- George Wallace: Pariah or Hero
- Women Rogues, Radicals, and Reformers
- The Help!: America's Servant Classes (co-taught with Jordan Bauer)
- The Amaranth Club of Birmingham, Alabama: Cultivating Women and Society (forthcoming, 2013).
- Fifty Years and Counting: A History of Operation New Birmingham (1957-2007) (Operation New Birmingham, 2008).
- King is the co-author of the No More Bull series for the Weld for Birmingham newspaper. It is a monthly series of historical articles that began in May of 2012 as part of Weld's observance of the 50th anniversary of the pivotal events that occurred in Birmingham in 1962 and 1963. Recent articles include "Before there were Preachers"; "The Revolt of the Moderates"; and "The Truths of Wallace."
- Alabama Historical Association (AHA)
- Birmingham Historical Society (BHS)
- National Council of Public History (NCPH)
- Association for the Study of African America Life and History (ASALAH)
- Faculty advisor, Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform Foundation (ACCR) student chapter