UWA to host Visions of the Black Belt authors Burnes, McDonald

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Library will host the authors of  a new book that has shone a spotlight on west Alabama on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. at the library on campus. UWA’s own Valerie Burnes and co-author Robin McDonald will share excerpts from and glimpses into the making of Visions of the Black Belt: A Cultural Survey of the Heart of Alabama at the event.

In Visions of the Black Belt, McDonald and Burnes offer a richly illustrated tour of the Black Belt, the fertile arc that represents the cultural efflorescence of Alabama’s heartland. The authors guide readers through the Black Belt’s towns and architecture and introduce the region’s great panoply of citizens, farmers, craftspeople, cooks, writers, and musicians.

Published by The University of Alabama Press, the book was featured as a USA Today 10 Best review in August, putting the Black Belt in the national spotlight.

Burnes, a Perry County, Ala., native, is an assistant professor of history at UWA and previously served as director of the Center for the Study of the Black Belt at UWA.

McDonald is an independent graphic designer and photographer from Leeds, Ala. Since 1992, he has been the designer of Alabama Heritage magazine and is the author of Heart of a Small Town: Photographs of Alabama Towns.

The book, published as a hard cover perfect bound coffee table edition, features 264 pages of McDonald’s vivid photography that showcases the people and places of the Black Belt, while Burnes’s narrative traces the region’s rich history and culture described only as a Black Belt native could. The publication’s instant appeal is believed to be its exclusivity as the first publication of its type and scale to showcase the Black Belt the way it does.

For more information on the event, contact Vivian Hauser at 205-652-3611 or vhauser@uwa.edu.