Two sets of events events will take place this weekend, things that on the surface have nothing in common. But in my little mind, I see a strong connection.
The first include the weekend of celebratory events planned to commemorate the life and legacy of Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, who died on October 5. The second is the Birmingham Comprehensive Planning meeting on Saturday. Continue reading →
Birmingham, AL (October 20) — Three days of events will give the public the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, the civil rights leader historians credited with leading the movement in this city that helped changed the nation.
Rev. Shuttlesworth passed away after a long illness in Birmingham on October 5. Many of his civil rights colleagues, ministers and elected officials are expected to come to Birmingham to participate in events. Continue reading →
I first met the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church during the 30-year anniversary of the church bombing, when NBC’s Brian Williams (before he was an anchor) and his television crews broadcast a live, national town-hall meeting from its sanctuary.
I was one of The Birmingham News reporters covering the event, and I was directed to interview him. At that time I only knew Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in terms of the Civil Rights Movement. So Rev. Shuttlesworth’s story fascinated me.
He recounted surviving the first bomb attack on his home. A blast that should have killed him instead inspired him because he knew that God spared him to lead the Movement in Birmingham. Emerging from the ruins of his wrecked home virtually unscathed, he was from then on the fiercest foe of segregation, he said, because he was never again afraid. Continue reading →