Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa and the Girl, Glow Up Leadership and Mentoring Nonprofit Organization are celebrating Women’s History Month by honoring the Phenomenal Women of West Alabama.

Get our free mobile app

92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 95.3 The Bear, ME-TV 97.5, Catfish 100.1, Tide 100.9, ALT 101.7, 105.1 The Block and our free digital news outlet the Tuscaloosa Thread is excited to recognize the empowered women of Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties.

Ruby Simon is a woman of excellence in so many areas in Tuscaloosa and this is why she is one of our Phenomenal Women of West Alabama

 "My favorite quote that reflects why Women's History in Alabama is important is found in Langston Hughes’ poem about a symbolic mother who says “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” The mother contrasts eloquent stairs to the hardships she has endured and concludes that regardless, one must keep climbing higher and strive to make an enduring positive impact along the way."-Ruby Simon

Ruby Simon is a published author and retired middle school teacher currently residing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She taught science and history in the Alabama public school system for more than 25 years. Since retirement in 2010, her passion has focused essentially on navigating the rich untold and under-highlighted history and way of life in African American communities in Tuscaloosa, and Alabama at large.

Simon's first book entitled Big Bend: Where the Tide Rolls Around Tuscaloosa, documents some of the key African Americans who helped produce and sustain the success of the southern economy during the infamous period of black enslavement  (the 1600s), cotton era (1700s through mid-1900s), the subsequent Baby-Boomer era (mid-1940s through  mid-1960s), and beyond.

She is married to Deacon Johnny Simon; and they have two daughters, Sherry (Darryl) Hughes and Kimberly Simon; and two granddaughters, Jasmine and Jaida Hughes.

She is a dedicated member of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church where the Rev. L.W. Bonner is pastor, and where she currently serves as historian, deaconess chairperson, and youth advisor/coordinator.

Simon is a life-long learner, initially matriculating through the Tuscaloosa Public Schools system and graduating from The University of Alabama in 1982.

Ruby Simon is the current executive director of the MAAM (Murphy African American Museum), located at 2601 Paul Bryant Drive, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She taught in the Tuscaloosa City School System for twenty-six years; served ten years as a Girl Scout and Brownie leader in the Tombigbee Girl Scout Council, Inc.; has more than forty-two years of service as a church deaconess, administrator, youth department supervisor, administrator, and educational leader.

She is a member of the 1st Thessalonians 5:17 Prayer and Bible Study Group, where she serves as secretary and assistant group leader, under the direction of Mary Ann Blackmon, founder, and coordinator. The group is composed typically of retired ladies who meet monthly to address the issues that impact the individual and collective health and wellness of the Black community and all people in general. Also, Simon is a member of the Tuscaloosa Education Retirees Teachers Association; Alabama Retired Teachers Association; and board member of the following non-profit organizations: 10-4 Corporation; 10,000 Strong; and Five Horizon Health Services Advisory Council, and the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Trail’s Bloody Tuesday Recognition Committee.

Her leisure passion is spent reading, exploring, interviewing, documenting, listening to various music genres, flower gardening, crossword puzzles, traveling, watching historical documentaries, and engaging in other fun activities with family and friends.

LOOK: Milestones in women's history from the year you were born

Women have left marks on everything from entertainment and music to space exploration, athletics, and technology. Each passing year and new milestone makes it clear both how recent this history-making is in relation to the rest of the country, as well as how far we still need to go. The resulting timeline shows that women are constantly making history worthy of best-selling biographies and classroom textbooks; someone just needs to write about them.

Scroll through to find out when women in the U.S. and around the world won rights, the names of women who shattered the glass ceiling, and which country's women banded together to end a civil war.