African American Heritage Trail > About Us
African American Heritage Trail

I am the eldest daughter of the late James H. Finley, Sr. and Joycelyn Franklin Finley. My parents were Civil Rights Advocates who instilled in me, a conviction to contribute to the physical and spiritual health of my community. My grandfather, Dr. James A. Franklin, Sr. also endowed me with a humanitarian legacy of service to community.

Although a native of Mobile, after marriage, I lived for five years (1973-1978) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My professional career started as an accountant at Iowa Electric Light and Power Company. I was later appointed to a position of deputy director for a business development office, Iowa Development and Economic Assistance Systems (IDEAS). After the birth of my daughter, Nicole, I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1978 and completed my undergraduate degree with a BBA from Eastern Michigan University in 1982.

Upon my return to Mobile, I taught mathematics at John L. Leflore High School and later became a loan officer at Commonwealth National Bank. I earned my masters in Business Administration from Spring Hill College and launched my 25 year career in Managerial Logistics with Scott Paper Company/Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Subsequent to my recent retirement, I looked forward to making valuable contributions to the physical and spiritual health of Mobile’s community.

After retirement, my second career has focused on community contributions through working with church and community associations. Through the development of the Mobile African-American Heritage Trail, valuable history has been secured in the discovery of Mobile’s forgotten chapters of local African-American history.

I leave a legacy of an African-American historic trail that is illuminated by stories of "courageous contributors" recognizing their determination and struggle for the inspiration and triumph of all generations to come.

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