Montgomery County probate displays historic archives for Black History Month

Montgomery County probate displays historic archives for Black History Month

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery County Probate Office is releasing a series of videos to mark Black History Month. The videos focus on some of the historical documents of the Montgomery County Archives.

According to the probate office, the featured items included the original iconic arrest booking photo of Rosa Parks in February 1956. Parks was part of the mass arrest of Montgomery Improvement Association members who violated Alabama’s anti-boycott law. Also included are booking photos of other Montgomery civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., E.D. Nixon, Joanne Robinson.

“These records are important for many reasons, not least of which is that by talking about them, some measure of humanity is restored to the enslaved people mentioned in them,” Dr. Dallas Hanbury, Montgomery County Archivist, said.

Along with the booking photos, there is an inventory of enslaved people from a Montgomery County slaveowner’s estate file, a slaveholder affidavit used by slave owners seeking the release of arrested slaves, and a marriage license showing a unique union shortly after the Civil War.

Hanbury said the items were chosen to highlight the strength of the Montgomery County archival collection, the powerful connection to Black History Month, and show how these records can serve as an excellent resource to researchers of all kinds.

“Additionally, these records enable relatives to find and connect with their enslaved ancestors in the historical record,” Hanbury added.

Hanbury also hopes the records will enable residents to have a complete understanding of the county’s history.

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