Alabama civil rights

“At that time, we’d been singing songs, we shall overcome, and before I’d be a slave…be dead and buried in my grave,” says Bennie Lee Tucker. He’s seventy four years old, and he spent the last fifty five of those years here in Selma. “And we gonna let nobody turn us around, no more Governor Wallace…no more white folk,” he says.

On the front porch of his home on Eugene Avenue, Tucker recalls March 7th, 1965. It was the height of the voting rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior wasn’t the name on everyone’s mind that day.

APR

The Selma City Council is declaring March 15th to be "F.D. Reese Day" in the community. Frederick Douglas Reese was 88 when he died in 2018. He had been part of the "Courageous Eight" who played a key role in inviting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Selma to join the fight to ensure voting rights for all. The works of Reese and his peers led to the Selma-to-Montgomery marches.

UA-CPT

Admirers of Dr. Martin Luther King, junior have the opportunity to snag a unique piece of memorabilia. An auction house is offering pages of an old jail record signed by Dr. King while he was incarcerated in Alabama in 1963. It's there that King wrote his famous "letter from the Birmingham jail." A jail worker rescued the documents which feature a dozen King signatures.

"The King of Alabama"

Jan 18, 2021
James Peppler

From April of 2018...

“If you did not know him, and had never heard anything about him, and were to go into a room where he was seated, he was a person who would not monopolize a conversation,” says Fred Gray, a civil rights attorney in Tuskegee, Alabama. He’s recalling one of this earliest clients, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

“I think initially most people heard it on the media, and those who heard it, told other people about it, so it spread like wildfire. There wasn’t any question about that. It hit me when he was killed, because I knew we had lost a great leader.”

Alabama observes Rosa Parks Day

Dec 1, 2020
Stan Ingold


Today marks a moment in Alabama civil rights history. It was on this date in 1955 when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white man. The state observes today as Rosa Parks day. The civil rights icon received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton in 1996. The U.S. Postal  Service honored Parks with a stamp on what would have been her one 100th birthday.

The city of Montgomery is also home to the Rosa Parks Museum. Assistant director Donna Beisel says Parks made the Civil Rights Movement possible.            

A.D. King
Wikipedia

 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama home once occupied by the Rev. A.D. King, the brother of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is being added to the government’s list of places that help tell the story of the civil rights movement. 

Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt visited Birmingham on Thursday as the one-time parsonage west of downtown was designated as part of the African American Civil Rights Network.

Dr. Walter Gonsoulin
@JEFCOED on Twitter

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — One of Alabama’s largest public school districts has named its first black superintendent.

discoverblackheritage.com

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's state tourism agency is being honored for its work promoting civil rights travel in 14 U.S. states.

The office was presented with an award recognizing its marketing campaign for the U.S. Civil Rights Trail during an industry trade show in London on Tuesday.

The trail promotes museums, churches and other African American landmarks across the South. Promotional materials include video interviews with civil rights participants from the 1960s and photos of landmarks.

en.wikipedia.org

 

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — Nearly 100 years since being wrongly accused of rape, the nine African Americans known as the "Scottsboro Boys" will be honored in a new museum in Alabama.

The Celebrating Early Old Town with Art board will formally unveil the museum's plans at its annual gala in Decatur next month.

Al.com reports the primary goal of the museum is to "depict Decatur's role in the historic trial, reflecting the civil rights struggles and victories during that era."

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's capital, a city once known as the cradle of the Confederacy and later the birthplace of the civil rights movement, elected its first African American mayor Tuesday.

Probate Judge Steven Reed, 45, clasped the history-making victory to be elected the next mayor of Montgomery after defeating businessman David Woods by a decisive margin. Reed won about 67% of the vote in Tuesday's mayoral runoff, according to unofficial returns.

Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A new project is highlighting some of the places in Alabama that played a role in the civil rights movement.

An online, oral history presentation called "Voices of Alabama" features photos of historic sites and interviews with some of the people who worked with the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The state was a hotbed of the movement at the time.

The website went online Wednesday.

(TUSCALOOSA, AL)-- The city of Tuscaloosa is making an effort to have its experiences in the Civil Rights

   struggle share the limelight usually placed on Birmingham and Selma. Now visitors can see the places where these events happened on Tuscaloosa’s Civil Rights History Trail.

 

Lonnie Neely lead the crowd at last week's grand opening and that was just the warmup act. Work on the Civil Rights Trail Task Force that has been underway since 2016 and Wednesday was the big unveiling. Scott Bridges is the president of the task force.

16th Street Baptist Church bombing
AP

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Dozens of members of Congress are making a weekend-long civil rights pilgrimage through Alabama, visiting spots that were instrumental in the fight for equality decades ago.

The mostly Democratic group made its first stop Friday at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls died in a Ku Klux Klan bombing in 1963.

Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who was once beaten by Alabama troopers while trying to march for voting rights, walked slowly up the church's stone steps.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 28, 2019--U.S. Senator Doug Jones will greet Birmingham and Huntsville fans to discuss his new book “ Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing That Changed the Course of Civil Rights.” Books-A-Million invites guests to join the author for a book launch event on Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre, located at 1800 Third Avenue North in Birmingham, Alabama.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama State University students who were expelled for leading the state's first known sit-in protest against segregation have been honored on the 59th anniversary of the protest.

Montgomery city and county leaders Monday presented resolutions to ASU President Quinton Ross expressing sorrow for the "wrongs from the past."

The students from the historically black university staged a sit-in on Feb. 25, 1960, at the whites-only lunch counter at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

APR

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the APR news team is examining Dr. King’s work in Alabama and his impact here. The civil rights leader inspired his supporters with the Montgomery bus boycott, his letter from the Birmingham Jail, and by leading voting rights marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on one witness to Dr. King’s earliest work in the civil rights movement, and the place where the two men met...

"We remember Dr. King, too." An audio postcard from West Africa

Apr 1, 2018

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. Throughout March, the APR news team is reporting on King’s work and impact here in Alabama. The event is being remembered in the United States, but not just in the U.S. Alabama Public Radio participated in a visiting journalist program last year with the West African nation of Mali. That’s where the APR news team met Ousmane Sagara. His home country has its own relationship with Dr. King. We invited Sagara to file this report from Mali’s capitol city.

"The Believers..." Alabamians Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert E. Lee

Apr 1, 2018

Next month marks fifty years since the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the APR news team is looking at King’s work and impact here in Alabama. Each year, America honors King on the third Monday in January. The nation takes a day off work and school to remember his accomplishments. Alabama is one of only two states that also celebrates another man on the same day as Dr. King.

“He asked a question: why do we celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday?”

As the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior this weekend, southern states are banding together to promote civil rights tourism. Fourteen states stretching from Kansas to Delaware, including all of the Deep South, are joining to promote the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The monument highlights about one hundred and thirty sites linked to the modern civil rights movement. The list includes the hotel in Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated to the birthplace of the confederacy. The joint effort is being unveiled as part of the MLK holiday weekend.

A motel room once used by Martin Luther King Jr. to plan landmark civil rights protests is the centerpiece of a new national monument in Alabama.

President Obama signed an order creating the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in one of his final acts in office. The announcement Thursday coincides with the upcoming King holiday.

In 1963, King stayed at the A.G. Gaston Motel while planning protests against legalized segregation in Birmingham. King worked with aides in an upstairs suite known as the "war room."

Encyclopedia of Alabama

 The first black person to attend the University of Alabama, Autherine Lucy Foster, is among four people who are being honored as the newest members of the university's Alabama Educator Hall of Fame.

The group was honored at a ceremony Saturday night at NorthRiver Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa.  

Foster became the first black person to attend Alabama in 1956. Campus riots broke out and the university removed her. Foster's expulsion was reversed in 1988, and she graduated from Alabama with a master's degree in elementary education in 1992.

APR Selma coverage wins national awards

Jun 29, 2016
APR

The industry group Public Radio News Directors, Incorporated named Alabama Public Radio the winner of two first place “PRNDI” awards. These prestigious national honors are connected to APR’s international award-winning coverage of the 50th anniversary of the “bloody Sunday” attacks on voting rights marchers in Selma in 1965. State troopers and a sheriff’s posse used clubs and tear gas to beat back demonstrators on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

tripadvisor.com

The life-size bronze sculpture of Rosa Parks has received a makeover.

With the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott on Tuesday, sculptor Erik Blome recently returned to touch up the sculpture 15 years after the statue was placed in the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery. The sculpture was touched up after wearing down and losing some color from constant touching and interaction.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Blome touched up the sculpture Nov. 19. The sculpture depicts Parks sitting on a bus seat, hands settled on a purse in her lap.

An Eye Witness to History: An Interview with Vera Jenkins Booker

Mar 5, 2015

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when civil rights marchers were set upon by Alabama state police troopers and a sheriff’s posse as they tried to march from Selma to Montgomery. The catalyst for these marches was the shooting death and funeral of activist Jimmie Lee Jackson. I sat down and had a conversation with Vera Jenkins Booker, the nurse who tended to Jackson the night he was brought in the Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma fifty years ago…

    

Title:  Better Than Them:  The Unmaking of an Alabama Racist
Author: S. McEachin Otts
Forward by Gaillard Frye
Publisher: NewSouth Books Pages: 158
Price: $23.95 (Paper)

It’s tax season and university students across the state are rolling up their sleeves to help taxpayers manage all the paperwork.

The group Impact Alabama has opened help centers to assist families with children who earn fifty two thousand dollars a year or less. Families without children to make less than twenty thousand dollars also qualify for assistance.

Sarah Louise Smith is the Executive Director of Impact Alabama. She says families get tax tips and the student volunteers gain experience working with customers.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.

Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.

meetmycollege.com

A civil rights interpretive center will remain on the Alabama State University campus for now, following a vote by the Montgomery City Council.

WAKA-TV reports that after some debate, the council voted not to reconsider the location. The station reports that the National Park Service selected ASU as the site of the center in 2011.

Montgomery City Councilman Tracy Larkin has proposed a resolution to reconsider the current location at Alabama State, favoring a site along the Selma to Montgomery March route.

students.cis.uab.edu

As Birmingham prepares to remember the four little girls killed nearly 50 years ago in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing one woman is searching for answers. Liesa Healy-Miller is a forensic genealogist who is making a final plea for clues to where the final resting place is of one of the victims, Addie Mae Collins.

Wikimedia Commons

Members of Congress are honoring four black girls at the Alabama church where they died in a Ku Klux Klan bombing 50 years ago.

About a dozen members of Congress applauded families of the girls during a commemoration Friday at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia recalled crying at the sight of the church after the blast. The Alabama native was a civil rights organizer at the time.

A bomb detonated outside the church on Sept. 15, 1963, killing the children.

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