Category: Civil Rights

Birmingham Residents Reflect on 60th Anniversary of Church Bombing

At exactly 10:22 a.m. on Friday, church bells – and the shofar at Temple Beth-El synagogue – rang out across Birmingham to honor those killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. It’s the 60th anniversary of the deadly attack that killed four young girls — 11-year-old Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, all 14 — and injured dozens more.

Inside the historic church, a crowd heard a message from Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Outside, small groups of people gathered all over the city to commemorate the anniversary and reflect on the violence of the past and the progress the community has made over the decades. Read more.

Civil Rights District Groups Get Nearly $2.7M in Support From JeffCo Commission

The Jefferson County Commission today approved $2,691,642 in federal ARPA funding to organizations in the Civil Rights District to improve civil rights tourism.

The $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill was enacted to speed the country’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jefferson County determined that tourism had been affected by the pandemic. After their applications were vetted by consulting firm Witt O’Brien, 16th Street Baptist Church, Urban Impact Inc., Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and historic Bethel Baptist Church in Collegeville were allotted funds for unique projects. Read more.

Martin Luther King’s 1963 Birmingham arrest spurred a Supreme Court case. The ruling still matters.

The case is Walker v. City of Birmingham, which ruled on the legal principles that allowed Bull Conner and Birmingham to jail Martin Luther King Jr. on Good Friday, 1963. Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy explains why the case continues to influence legal thinking during these tumultuous times. Read more.