Meet The Founder

Theresa Borroughs

In Loving Memory

The Late Mrs. Theresa Turner Burroughs was the youngest of eleven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon and Mattie Turner near Moundville, AL on August 14, 1928.  Due to a flood, the family moved to Greensboro, AL.  Theresa Turner graduated from Hale County Training School in 1946. She was married to the late Walter Kenneth Burroughs, who retired from the United States Army.
During the ’50s, she graduated from the Bestita School of Beauty.  She owned and operated Burroughs Beauty Bar in Greensboro for well over fifty years.  During this time, she received recognition and won several competitions for her technical skills.  She had a very large clientele until retirement.

She was a community and Civil Rights Activist for many years, alongside the late Mrs. Juanita Nabors, Ms. Dorothy Bryant, and others. She assisted in obtaining various programs for the city of Greensboro and Hale County.

Her rental property was used to provide the first home for West Alabama Health Services in Greensboro many years ago.  She and other activists were organized by the late Attorney J.L Chestnut of Selma, AL to establish the Hale County Civic Improvement League. This organization was instrumental in assisting and making changes in Greensboro and Hale County.  They did so by soliciting and supporting qualified minorities to run for public offices such as city council, county commissioners’ members, sheriff, school board members, etc.
Because of her work as an activist, she had a clear vision of why the city of Greensboro needed a museum to preserve the local citizens’ role in the civil rights movement.  In 2002, she founded the Black Historical Safe House Museum in Greensboro, AL located on Martin Luther King Drive.  Mrs. Burroughs was instrumental in changing the name of Depot Street to Martin Luther King Drive.

With the assistance of political officials, friends, such as Mrs. Dora McQueen and others, board members, students, family, Dr. Amilcar Shabazz and staff members of the University of Alabama, Stillman College, and Auburn University, the vision started to become a reality.  Architects Samuel Mockbee, Andrew Freear and the students and staff of Auburn Rural Studios assisted in expanding the vision.  Three dedicated students of Auburn Rural Studios; Cassandra Kellogg, Candace Rimes, and Chris Currie worked tirelessly on the expansion of the museum and did an awesome job.  Mrs. Burroughs referred to them as “The 3 C’s.”  Today, the museum has been visited by people throughout the United States and abroad.

Over the years, she provided assistance to a lot of people and had no desire for public recognition. But she received recognition and awards for her work as a visionary and community activist on the local, state and national levels.

Mrs. Burroughs departed this life on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 at Druid City Hospital and was the mother of four children:  Paula Renee, Kathy Sue, Leslie Erroll (deceased) and Toni Teresa.  She had seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, one adopted grandson, Daniel Splaingard, two devoted nephews; Jonathan Turner and Joe Turner, a sister-in-law, Mrs. Annie Turner-Tabb, and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

Awards & Achievements are as follows:

 

State of Alabama Certificate of Appreciation 1985

State of Alabama Certificate of Appreciation 1986

State of Alabama Certificate of Service

State of Alabama Election Law Commissioner

Black Belt Community Foundation

Christian Education Department Certificate of Appreciation

Proclamation Hale County Commissioners

Proclamation City of Greensboro

City of Greensboro Award for Service to the Citizens of Hale County

Wall of Tolerance Certificate of Appreciation

African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium Award

Legacy of Local Heroes Certificate of Appreciation

President’s Club of Alabama Award

Founder’s Award 2012

Business Etiquette Award

2016 Call to Conscience Award

Drum Major for Justice Award

Foot Soldier for Justice Award

Alabama Democratic Conference Trailblazer Award

Alabama Democratic Conference the M.L.K. American Dream Award

University of Alabama Lifetime Contributions to Human and Civil Rights

St. Matthew A.M.E. Years of Service Award

President Barack Obama Legacy Book Created Exclusively for Mrs. Burroughs

Congressional Report in Honor of Mrs. Burroughs presented by Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Lifetime Achievement Award