I went to see the Stephen Spielberg movie, Lincoln, on New Year’s Day, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Turned out the movie was more about President Abraham Lincoln’s resolve and political savvy in leveraging the bloody Civil War into a masterful move to weaken the South morally and economically so as to end both the war and African American slavery. The politics and change it started 150 years ago trickled down to today. And for that, I’m grateful. 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 →