Birmingham celebrates 50 years of civil rights history

Birmingham celebrates 50 years of civil rights history

Birmingham made history in 1963, and in 2013 the Alabama city will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the events that led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the beginning of the end of racial segregation in the South.

In Birmingham that summer of ’63, black residents held sit-ins at whites-only lunch counters to challenge Jim Crow laws. Black youth from area schools participating in what was known as the Children’s Crusade were arrested. Some were attacked with fire hoses and police dogs after taking to the streets to protest of racial discrimination. And on Sept. 15, 1963, a bomb planted by a Ku Klux Klansman in the 16th Street Baptist Church exploded, killing four young black girls.

From the ashes and rubble of these devastating acts arose the passion and determination necessary to catapult the fight for equal rights for people of all races. All of it will be on display in 2013 as Birmingham honors the lessons learned from its past. Organizations and institutions throughout the city will tell stories of 1963 through art exhibits, theater productions, musical performances and more.

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