Mobile, Alabama: A City with Multiple Cultures and Sports

Mobile, Alabama

The people of Mobile take great pride in their rich heritage and the fact that they are currently considered one of the rich cultural centers of the country. From the early beginnings of French. Spanish and British colonization through their battle to overcome the natural disasters of hurricanes and floods, Mobile has made use of their unique strengths to continue down a path of success. The sense of pride of community is exemplified in every area of their town and their love of their sports teams has kept the spirit alive. Football is the main sport of the area, but it is followed closely with fans of baseball, basketball and golf.

Mobile’s name came from the Mobilian Native American tribe that inhabited the area and were found by the first French settlers.   The area now known as Mobile was fought over, taken over and influenced by all three of the European settlements. As a gulf city it offered the best port access for transport and its economy was based on the success of the trading that their port brought to them.  Each progressive country that chose Mobile as its territory also made a name change, but, throughout the ages, the name of Mobile was eventually retained

Sadly, it was also this port that brought plagues and disease from other areas. Mobile suffered many bouts of yellow fever which nearly destroyed the town on numerous occasions. The Native American tribes local to the area did not survive the disease and populations were wiped out in weeks.

The nineteenth century brought the cotton to the Mobile area as well as the trading of slaves. The State of Alabama joined the Confederate side during the Civil War and Mobile ended up surrendering to keep from having their beloved city destroyed by the Union troops. Even the reconstruction of the time couldn’t help the city as export values dropped to one third of its previous level.

By the turn of the century the Progressive Era may have brought expansion to the area, but this did not extend to the social unrest and lack of equality for its citizens. World War II increased the population as workers arrived for shipyard duties for the war efforts. Post wartime shifted the area’s main income from shipyard to the chemical and paper industries.  Factories were converted and the people of the area felt that things were moving along just fine. This was with one exception, the injustice of inequality against Black Americans held an even stronger undertow.

The Civil Rights Movement hit the Mobile area and the political parties as well as citizens made valiant attempts at addressing the problems that had so long been an undercurrent of every day life. It wasn’t an easy path to tread, but it became the only road to offer enlightenment and equality.

The closing of the major air force base in Mobile was a crushing blow to the economy and led to economic depression. It took years to overcome and develop new initiatives to attract more business and industry to the area. The people of Mobile rebuilt sports fields and stadiums and added so that they could attend the games of their team.

Throughout all of the trials, the people of the Mobile area have carried their heritage with them in song and art. The influences of the Creole, Spanish and English allow Mobile the ability to offer unique cuisine and some of the finest art and museums in the country.  Mobile was the originating birthplace of what we refer to as Mardi Gras and both Carnivale and Mardi Gras are continued to be celebrated today. If you stop in today in Mobile, you can share in the sense of enjoyment by attending a game and cheering with the crowd as each point is added to the and sport, but especially the football scoreboards.


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