University of Alabama’s student newspaper names first Black female editor-in-chief

Ashlee Woods is the third Black student and the first Black woman to hold the role in the paper’s 129-year history.

An African-American woman is making history as the newly appointed editor-in-chief of the University of Alabama’s student newspaper, The Crimson White.

Ashlee Woods will be the third Black student and the first Black woman to hold the title in the paper’s 129-year history, according to the newspaper’s archives, according to

Woods, a junior majoring in news media at the university, is currently the editor in chief of Nineteen Fifty-Six, the university’s magazine that highlights Black culture. The Delaware native is excited to continue to expand on the school’s diversity and inclusion efforts with her new position for The Crimson White newspaper. 

Ashlee Woods: University of Alabama’s student newspaper names first Black female editor in chief
Ashlee Woods will become the first Black female editor-in-chief of the University of Alabama’s student newspaper in its 129-year history. (Credit: Tyler Hogan of Nineteen Fifty-Six Magazine)

“I wanted to create a path for future Black women to take on this role,” said Woods, reports.

“If someone has to be first, it’s going to be me. That’s what I have to do. That’s what needs to be done. Representation matters,” Woods added. 

According to The Crimson White, Woods majored in political science in 2018 with an eye toward law school and possibly a presidential run. In 2020, she took the spring semester off and started a sports blog, reports. At the time, she also switched her collegiate focus to news media.

Having a passion for sports and a gift for writing about the subject since she was young, Woods started with The Crimson White as a sports staff reporter. According to, the paper has emphasized recruiting students of color in recent years.

“I bring a lot of different perspectives to the table, not just my race and gender,” said Woods, per

Woods has won multiple writing awards, including the UA Student Media Planning Board’s James E. Jacobson award and the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award for “2022 Story of the Year,” according to The Crimson White.

Her collegiate sports coverage was featured on the Paul Finebaum show six times, The Crimson White reported. Last fall, she interned for the Tuscaloosa News. Woods says her most memorable experience in sports journalism was covering Alabama softball, and watching Lexi Kilfoyl pitch a perfect game, reports.

She told the Birmingham Times, “When you think about it … being a woman in sports has prepared me for this moment because everywhere I go, there’s people that don’t look like me.”

As the newly appointed editor in chief of The Crimson White, Woods intends to highlight stories from “Black and marginalized communities,” she said. “We also need Black and minority leaders leading the call telling those stories.”

She will officially assume the role on May 1.

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