1963

Birmingham, AL

THE YEAR THE WORLD WOKE UP

The year was 1963, and as the whole world watched, events in Birmingham sparked the beginning of the end of a centuries-long struggle for freedom. In the year leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the city’s most courageous citizens fought for a world where we could all live as equals. And this year, we celebrate their strength, their determination, their defiance—and the enduring legacy of their hard-won victory over oppression.

As he was gearing up to lead the fight against the status quo of
hatred and oppression in his hometown, Reverend Fred
Shuttlesworth sent a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inviting him
to join the movement in Birmingham. And somehow, the fiery young
pastor knew it was no exaggeration when he told King,

AS BIRMINGHAM GOES,
SO GOES THE NATION.

Many of these moving images appear courtesy of The Birmingham News photo archive, and are available in the beautiful hardcover photo book 1963: How the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement Changed America and the World by reporter Barnett Wright; available now at bhamstore.com.


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