In the Footsteps of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Movement (Lowell Thomas Award-Winning show)

In the Footsteps of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Movement (Lowell Thomas Award-Winning show)

Freedom Park sculpture Birmingham AL

Aired on September 15, 2023

Birmingham, Alabama is considered ground zero in the civil rights movement.  In the 1950s, African-Americans of all ages in Birmingham drew a proverbial line in the sand against racial segregation.  Their stories, struggles and ultimate success over Jim Crow laws is on display at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in an effort to keep the stories of this dark chapter in American history alive.

Across the street from the Institute is the 16th Street Baptist Church where a 1963 bombing that killed four young girls changed the course of history in Birmingham and America.  We will walk through this church that has, today, become a place to unify a community and people from all over the world.

16th Street Baptist Church. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick
16th Street Baptist Church. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick

Downtown Birmingham is the home to the Civil Rights Heritage Trail.  Kelly Ingraham Park, also known as Freedom Park, was the staging area for many of the demonstrations that took place in Birmingham led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and others.  Today, Freedom Parkt is a sculpture garden that honors those who peacefully demonstrated.

We will revisit our conversation with jazz legend, the late Frank “Doc” Adams.  He shared his music and life with us when we met him at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame just weeks before his passing at the age of 86.

Legendary jazz artist Frank "Doc" Adams shared his gift of music with us just a month before his passing.  Photo:  Tonya Fitzpatrick
Legendary jazz artist Frank “Doc” Adams shared his gift of music with us just a month before his passing.  Photo:  Tonya Fitzpatrick

Additional resources:

Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail 

Frank “Doc” Adams 

Kelly Ingram Park (formerly West Park) history

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