We are American History. Celebrating Black History Month

94.1 WHRP is Celebrating Black History Month, by saluting those in our community who continue to make a difference right here in the Tennessee Valley.

February 19th, 2024: Dr. Lashonda Brown

Today, we put the spotlight on Doctor LaShonda Brown, a native of Tuskegee, Alabama. She is the NAACP Education Chair for the state of Alabama, and she believes in the power of education. Making sure our children are equipped with the tools that will allow them to succeed is her passion. Her emphasis of study when working towards her Doctoral degree was rooted in Secondary Education, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. Although she is not focused on sharing her own personal accolades, we are proud to recognize her for the passion, and love she exhibits when it comes to education. A breast cancer survivor, she is also a woman of faith and strength. Today, we are so happy to feature Dr. LaShonda Brown for Black History Month.

February 18th, 2024: Pastor Fred Ashford

Today, we put the spotlight on Pastor Fred Ashford. He has been the Pastor of the New Jerusalem Primitive Baptist in Church, in his native Courtland, AL for twenty-one years. He prides himself on faith, family and fellowship. Pastor Ashford believes in hard work, but more importantly lives by the church’s motto: “Connecting People through God’s Word”. He has been affectionately called the “Peoples Pastor”, as he still believes in making home, hospital and nursing home visits to minister to the sick and those in need regardless of their church affiliation. Pastor Ashford is a retired 3M Chemical Operator, and now passionately spends his time caring for the needs of the disabled as a Caregiver Specialist at the Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Decatur. He lives each day reminded of Isaiah 40:31, “…“they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength…” He serves the community with zeal, enthusiasm and fervor. Today, we are so happy to feature Pastor Fred Ashford for Black History Month.

February 17th, 2024: Gary Whitley

Today, we are highlighting the efforts of Gary T. Whitley, Jr. He is the Chairman of the Delta Theta Lambda Education Foundation, which hosts Huntsville’s prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Unity Breakfast. He manages an organization responsible for annually awarding scholarships to local graduating High School seniors. In 2023, the foundation awarded $25k in scholarships. Mr. Whitley is a member of the Huntsville
Metropolitan Planning Organization, and is also the treasurer for the Rosetta James Foundation Board. and is a member of the board for the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. Appointed to the Board of Directors for the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Gary has also severed on the board for Arts Huntsville and was the Chairperson for Panoply and the Monte Sano Arts festivals. He is a man who continues to achieve with his work in the community, and we are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of Gary T. Whitley, Jr.

February 16th, 2024: Dr. Cheryl Bowman

Today, we highlight the accomplishments of Dr. Cheryl A. Bowman. She is a mentor, encourager, educator, and servant. A native of Hillsboro, AL she has served in all aspects of education. For more than 30 years, she has co-labored n the Decatur City (AL) and Nashville (TN) school systems with educators to secure and implement strategies across varying curriculums. Dr. Bowman is adamant about helping all students regardless of race, creed, color, or socioeconomic status. She believes students should have the academic content knowledge, creative and critical thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities to write their own future stories. Dr. Bowman’s professional career also affords the opportunity to utilize her servant driven purpose by ensuring that students’ needs are identified and addressed. A proud member of the Central North Alabama Alumnae (CNAA) Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. she volunteers on numerous church and community organizations. Today, we are proud to acknowledge the amazing work of Dr. Cheryl A. Bowman.

February 15th, 2024: Don Howard

Today, we are pleased to recognize Don Howard. An exceptionally talented artist, his passion for art started at an early age. Upon graduation from high school in Ozark, AL, he enrolled at Hampton University on a football scholarship. While there, Don worked on multiple animation projects. It was during that time he became keenly interested in the art of caricature. After more than 15 years at Disney, Don relocated to Huntsville. It was here that he founded Howard Studios. Don Howard caricatures are tastefully done without exaggerated features, and the likeness to the person is easily identifiable. Don works tirelessly to develop caricatures that are not only humorous and provocative, but also professionally crafted. It is obvious that he loves what he is doing. His work in the community, and his willingness to give back speaks to who he really is. We are proud to salute Don Howard for all that he does, and today we recognize him for Black History Month.

February 13th, 2024: Anthony Daniels

 Today, we are pleased to feature State Representative – Minority House Leader, Anthony Daniels. He was selected as the first African-American and youngest to serve as leader of either political party in the Alabama State House. An advocate for North Alabama, he is always looking to improve the quality of living for the citizens of Alabama. Rep. Daniels is also running for U S. Congress, in Alabama’s newly redrawn second District. As a teacher, business leader, and public servant he has spent his career working to do what is right for the people of this state. He is American History, and today we are proud to celebrate Representative Anthony Daniels for Black History Month.

February 12th, 2024: Teasa Northern

Today we are happy to recognize Teasa Northern. A Christ-led author and entrepreneur, Teasa is committed to personal renewal and corporate revival. She developed the R3N Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing orphans and impoverished community members opportunities for inclusive and equitable quality education worldwide. With over 20 years of dedicated ministry, Mrs. Northern travels the country to train leaders to serve within the body of Christ in the midst of rapidly changing world views and culture. She is an amazing strategist who is willing to help others gain their purpose. We are thankful to have her representing our community. Today, we acknowledge the leadership, and accomplishments of Mrs. Teasa Northern for Black History Month.

February 11th, 2024: Elder Montrice Bethea

Today we are happy to recognize Elder Montrice Bethea. He is the Senior Pastor of the historic Bell Primitive Baptist Church in Decatur, AL. The church which is 160 years old, is a beacon of faith, love and community. Elder Bethea has been the Pastor a little more than a year, and has led the growth of this mighty place of worship. A veteran of both the Navy and Marines, he is a pillar in the community always greeting those he meets with a smile. An esteem Man Of God, he is an humble leader who is active in the Decatur and the Tennessee Valley. It is our honor to recognize this extraordinary man for everything he has done in our community. Today, we acknowledge the leadership, and accomplishments of Elder Montrice Bethea for Black History Month.

February 10th, 2024: Joe Jordan

Today we are happy to acknowledge one of Huntsville’s History-Makers. Joe Jordan, a groundbreaking-pioneer, who was the city’s first Black Fire Marshal. Mr. Jordan spent 40 years with the Huntsville fire department. A Vietnam veteran, he joined the city’s fire fighters in 1975, and at the time there were only a total of three minority employees in the city, all entry-level fire fighters. He climbed the ranks to become Fire Driver-Engineer and Fire Inspector/Investigator, before he was appointed as Fire Marshal in 1995. He is truly Black History, and we are proud to recognize him for everything he has done for our city. Today, we salute Joe Jordan for Black History Month.

February 9th, 2024: Cynthia Joiner

 Today we are happy to acknowledge the accomplishments of Cynthia Joiner. An award winning Real Estate agent, she is also the engine that powers the concert series Jazz in the Park- Huntsville each September. She is the presenting sponsor of the event, providing her resources to bring the best, top notch Smooth Jazz artists to our area. Cynthia has served as an advocate, and supports non-profit organizations here in the Tennessee Valley. She is also the engine that powers Hello Huntsville, Al, a video Podcast focused on all things related to our community. She makes us all so proud, and we thank her for everything she is doing for our Community. Today, we are happy to spotlight Cynthia Joiner for Black History Month.

February 8th, 2024: Dawn Martin

Today we are highlighting the accomplishments of Dawn Martin. A native of Huntsville, Alabama. She is a ninth grade Geometry teacher at East Limestone High School, and has been with Limestone County Schools for 24 years. Ms. Martin was selected as the Educator of the Year for the Army Educational Outreach Alumni Program, and is a resource teacher for the STEM programs during the summer at Redstone Arsenal. This program brings middle and high school students to explore robotics, forensics, drones, and 3D printing. She loves serving in the community, and is helping families tracing their roots as a genealogy expert. A proud member of the NAACP, she believes in the power of activism. Her zeal, passion and belief in education drives her to continue. We are fortunate to have someone of this caliber teaching our young people. Today we are happy to acknowledge Dawn Martin, and we thank her for all that she is doing.


February 7th, 2024: Marc Lacy

Today we are happy to highlight the accomplishments of Marc Lacy. He is a Huntsville, AL native, and a proud graduate of Alabama A&M University. He was a part of the Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team, as well as a member of Tau Alpha Pi Engineering Honor Society. Marc is very active in the community, and his philanthropy is recognized as he is front and center lending a helping hand to those who are in need. A true renaissance man, Marc is a civilian servant serving as a Mobile Operations Specialist with the Department of the Army, a nationally-renowned award winning Speaker, Writer, and Producer for AVO Publishing, LLC. He has performed all over the country at many national literary events and spoken word venues. We are so proud of Marc and all that he is doing to put Huntsville ”on the map”. We certainly wish him continued success. Today, we proudly acknowledge Marc Lacy for Black History Month.

February 6th, 2024: Ellenae Fairhurst

Today we are happy to highlight the accomplishments of Ellenae Fairhurst. She is the first black woman to own and operate a Lexus dealership (Lexus of Huntsville). A true trailblazer, she has also served on the board of directors for the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association, the Huntsville Downtown Rescue Mission, and the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Fairhurst is also a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association and the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers. Today we proudly acknowledge Ellenae Fairhurst for all she has done in our community.

February 5th, 2024: Dr. Clarence Sutton

Dr. Clarence Sutton serves as the superintendent of Huntsville City Schools. The Huntsville City Board of Education unanimously approved Dr. Sutton’s hire in June 2023. He is a veteran of public education with nearly 30 years of experience as a teacher, principal, and central office administrator. Dr. Sutton believes in promoting student success, supporting teachers and staff member, creating a new strategic plan for Huntsville City Schools prioritizing system culture, climate, and safety, as well as engaging in strong communication and community engagement. He has been a stalwart in the community, and we are so thankful for his service. Today we recognize Dr. Clarence Sutton for Black History Month.

February 4th, 2024: Wes Torrain

Today we are pleased to put the spotlight on Wes Torain. He is the Director of Public Relations and Digital Media at Calhoun Community College. He has more than thirty years of experience in broadcasting, journalism, public relations, and multimedia production. Wes previously served as the supervisor over the Calhoun Education Television (CETV) and Digital Media department, and has also had stints at American Family Broadcasting and channel 48 here in Huntsville. He studied Telecommunications and Education at Alabama A&M University and Athens State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Education. Wes, is an active member of the community and has served on the boards of the American Red Cross Community, The Princess Theatre for Performing Arts, and Big Brothers-Big Sisters. A trailblazer in local media he has inspired so many with his work, and today we are proud to acknowledge Wes Torain for Black History Month.

February 3rd, 2024: Louis Berry


Today we are pleased to put the spotlight on Louis Berry, the first Black Man to be Principal at East Limestone High School. A graduate of Alabama A&M University, he was the one-time Principal of J.O. Johnson High School in Huntsville. He believes the hands-on approach to teaching works best, and feels it is of the utmost importance that teachers and faculty be able to show students real-world applications in the classroom. Mr. Berry is an exceptional leader and motivator, and under his leadership the school has experienced so many successes. Louis Berry, Principal of East Limestone High School is truly a trailblazer, and we are so happy to acknowledge him today, as we celebrate Black History Month.

February 2nd, 2024: Chanda Davis

Today we are pleased to recognize Chanda Davis, who is a former award winning Biology teacher. She received nationwide recognition for her accomplishments in the classroom. At the peak of her teaching career, she decided to become a part-time Real Estate Agent. After enormous success as an agent, she decided to further her real estate career by getting a broker’s license. Chanda’s passion for real estate did not fill the void that teaching left, so she decided to combine her passion for teaching and real estate to become a certified instructor. Chanda Davis is passionate about her work, and has been a blessing to so many people she has come in contact with. She is a philanthropist, always giving to causes to make this a better community. We are truly happy to acknowledge Chanda for her continued success and work in the community, as we celebrate Black History Month

February 1st, 2024: Tish Hardric

Tish Hardric, is the founder and CEO of Tish Hardric & Associates. She is an award winning philanthropist, who continually gives her time, experience and resources to help others. Tish believes in giving back to the community, and one way she has reached out to the Tennessee Valley is with her “Money Monday” segment on 94.1 WHRP. Her business acumen is so well respected, and Tish gives common sense solutions to managing finances. She has truly been a blessing to so many. Today, are so happy to feature Tish Hardric, for Black History Month!!!

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