Tag Archives: civil rights

February 1956: When the Eyes of the World Were on Us

Sixty years ago, the first major step was made toward desegregating the University of Alabama. Autherine Lucy, a black woman from Shiloh, Alabama, was enrolled – and a few days later suspended, eventually expelled, though she had done nothing wrong. … Continue reading

Goodbye, Corolla, Goodbye: 1950s-1960s

Continuing our look at Corollas of the past, these two volumes from the 1950s and 1960s are both in Acumen, and they document a rapidly changing student body and new student attitudes. 1959 With the Space Race now underway, the … Continue reading

Life in the mines: Desegregated labor unions

Normally, we do a post on labor unions for labor day, but it seemed appropriate to bring up the subject for Black History Month, too. African Americans in Birmingham-area mines and industrial plants were often important leaders in efforts to … Continue reading

Marking the 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at The University of Alabama

Fifty years ago tomorrow, James Hood and Vivian Malone made history as the first African-Americans to successfully enroll at the University of Alabama. Though initially blocked from entry by Governor George Wallace — during his infamous “Stand in the Schoolhouse … Continue reading

Flashback to Emphasis ’68: Strom Thurmond

Continuing this week’s look back at Emphasis ’68, we deal with an archival reality — sometimes, things don’t survive long enough to be archived, but they often leave interesting traces behind. (Image from the 1969 Corolla yearbook) Senator Strom Thurmond … Continue reading

Flashback to Emphasis ’68: Roy Wilkins

Forty five years ago this week, The University of Alabama began its second annual symposium on contemporary issues. Known as Emphasis, it ran from 1967-1971, with varying degrees of success. This week, we revisit some of its more memorable speeches and … Continue reading

James Hood

On any given weekday, you will see a variety of students from different ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic classes wandering the quad, dorms, and halls. As an institution, we have come to reflect and embrace these differences, but the University of … Continue reading

Hidden Gem: comedian Dick Gregory at Emphasis ’70

When he took the stage at UA in October 1969, African-American comedian Dick Gregory joked that he’d meant to be there six months before, for the previous Emphasis program, but he’d been in jail at the time and couldn’t make … Continue reading

Be Thankful for the Right to Vote

“A non-voter is not a half a citizen.” — Interview with H. D. Coke, 1984 Like Coke, many of the elderly African Americans interviewed for the Working Lives Oral History Project remember the struggle to register to vote during the … Continue reading

Fred Shuttlesworth

On May 3, 1963, peaceful demonstrators, many of them teenagers, are beaten back in downtown Birmingham by fire hoses and police dogs.  The extreme tactics, ordered by police commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor brought international attention to Project C, the name … Continue reading