The Black Belt region of Alabama is one of the most unique regional areas in the United States. Stretching across the lower-central portion of Alabama, from the Mississippi to the Georgia border, the 19 counties of the Black Belt region sustain an abundance of natural resources, historical roots, cultural diversity, and recreational activities valued by residents and sought by tourists. People travel from across the globe to walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge, participate in Civil War reenactments, visit Gee's Bend quilters, marvel at Native American wonders, taste the local Southern cuisine, and wander the antebellum plantations, while enjoying the rituals of the land through hunting the woodlands, fishing the streams, and boating the numerous waterways.
The Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area is a grassroots initiative designed to bring economic development to 19 counties in the Black Belt region. Its mission is to partner with local communities, state agencies, and non-profit organizations to shape a sustainable future for the Black Belt region through the preservation, interpretation, and marketing of unique cultural, historical, and natural assets, and to create a better quality of life for its residents through education and development of community capacity and pride.
The Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area is administered by The Center for the Study of the Black Belt at the University of West Alabama, and supported by a Board of Directors and an advisory task force that represents people and organizations across the 19 counties.
To empower the people and communities of Alabama's Black Belt region to build a positive future by collaborating to preserve, enhance, and promote what makes the area unique.
- To provide an integrated vision that fosters stewardship among organizations in preserving and promoting the region;
- To preserve, enhance, and interpret the region's unique cultural, historical and natural resources;
- To educate local residents and visitors about the importance of the region to increase community pride and need to conserve the significant resources;
- To stimulate economic development through sustainable tourism that respects the sites and landscape and promotes the region's cultural, historical, and natural opportunities;
- To empower communities and organizations in efforts to revitalize and strengthen community identity and economic vitality.