Music of the Mines, Mills and Railroads of the Birmingham District

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
North Shelby Library
Meeting Room

Event Details

This event is sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation

Program Description

In 1999, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark produced an educational resource entitled Spirit of Steel: Music of the Mines, Railroads and Mills of the Birmingham District. The focus of the book centers on the labor-related music of the Birmingham district. Migrants pouring into Birmingham’s industrial district, whether from the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta or the Appalachian hills, carried with them their unique styles of music, as well as their unique traditions and culture. Music of the Mines presents the histories and personal recollections of the musicians and their families, and an outstanding array of recordings ranging from soulful ballads and blues, to union songs and old-time fiddling.

About the scholar
Karen Utz has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Marketing from Central Missouri State University, and a Master’s degree in History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is the Curator of Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, and in this capacity, her main objectives center around collections management, research, writing, and speaking engagements. She is also very involved in expanding the oral history project at Sloss, and in the ongoing efforts to restore the site. 

About the Alabama Humanities Foundation

The purpose of the Alabama Humanities Foundation is to create and foster opportunities to explore human values and meanings through the humanities. AHF is a nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (of which AHF is the state affiliate), as well as by corporate and individual donors. AHF conducts its own statewide programs, such as the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, SUPER Teacher Institutes and PRIME TIME Family Reading Time, and awards grants, on a competitive basis, to nonprofit organizations for humanities projects. For more information on AHF and its programs, please visit or call (205) 558-3980.  

Event Type(s): Adult Program
Age Group(s): Adults
Presenter: Karen Utz
Michelyn Reid
(205) 439-5510

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