As a second installment in our semi-regular "Flashback Friday" features, I will remember the late Michael Figures.
Michael Figures was the most successful black politician of his generation. A successfull attorney in Mobile, Figures beat a white incumbent state senator in 1978. He was re-elected four times and rose to become the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate in 1994.
A close ally of Don Siegelman, Figures was preparing to run for Lieutenant Governor before a brain aneurysm led to his untimely death in September 1996. He almost certainly would have been the Democratic nominee and had a strong chance at becoming the highest profile black elected official in Alabama history.
Figures' wife, Vivian Davis Figures, has taken his place in the State Senate and carries on his legacy.
Though his life was cut short and his potential never fully realized, Michael Figures' dream of a unified, progressive Alabama endures.
(See the first "Flashback Friday" piece -- Remembering Red Blount)