May 3, 2016 During my civil rights pilgrimage, I could not help but notice how beautiful the city would have been during the 1963 Birmingham Campaign. In Kelly Ingram Park, which some refer to as “ground zero” for those demonstrations, I was especially struck by the juxtaposition between the ugliness of police dogs and fire… Continue reading Birmingham Spring
April 16, 2016 “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” I stood in front of Birmingham’s Phillips High School and cried. Here is where the civil rights… Continue reading A Birmingham School, A Birmingham Jail
April 14, 2016 For part of my civil rights pilgrimage, I stayed at an Airbnb in Birmingham’s College Hills neighborhood, within walking distance of Dynamite Hill. Beginning in the late 1940s, African Americans began integrating an area of North Smithfield, mostly along Center Street. The backlash was vicious. So many racially motivated bombings occurred… Continue reading History That Counts
April 9, 2016 Arriving into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport for my civil rights pilgrimage, I felt conflicted. I usually feel a bump of pride when the plane hits the tarmac. The Birmingham International Airport’s Board of Directors voted in 2008 to rename itself after local leader Fred Shuttlesworth (1922-2011), instrumental in the Alabama Christian Movement… Continue reading Beautiful Freedom Surprise
Starting April 7, 2016 On this day, Sunday April 7, 1963, “Palm Sunday,” three ministers–Nelson Smith, A.D. King, and John Porter–led 2,000 citizens in a march from St. Paul’s Methodist Church to Birmingham’s City Hall. The march protested the previous day’s arrest of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Fred Shuttlesworth. When the… Continue reading Walking Through Birmingham
2 April 2016 On this day in 1963 the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) released the Birmingham Manifesto. This short, sometimes forgotten document launched one of the most tumultuous periods in civil rights movement history: the Birmingham Campaign. Six weeks of nonviolent direct action generated a response so fierce that mainstream media… Continue reading The Birmingham Manifesto
The Birmingham Stories blog starts in Spring 2016. I’m planning walking tour of the city on the anniversary of the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, beginning at the intersection where this photograph was taken (16th Street and 6th Avenue North).