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"I tried to get killed in Birmingham and go home to God because I knew it would be better for you in Birmingham"
October 5, 2011 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Civil Rights leader Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth passed away this morning at the age of 89.

Reverend Shuttlesworth was a founding member and original officer of the SCLC and was generally considered as one of the "Big Three" leaders of the Civil Rights movement along with Dr. King and Ralph David Abernathy.

Beaten and bombed during his efforts for change, the Reverend acted as a leader against the prevailing segregationist status quo in Birmingham including a joint effort of direct resistance by his own organization, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and the SCLC in 1963. This resistance effort is responsible for the infamous photos of protesters being attacked by police as well as Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

In 2008, the Birmingham Airport Authority voted to honor Reverend Shuttlesworth by changing the name of the airport to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
posted by ndfine (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Godspeed, sir.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:42 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Renoroc at 10:59 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by lord_wolf at 11:01 AM on October 5, 2011


There's fearlessness, and then there's FEARLESSNESS. Shuttlesworth's bravery in the face of racist violence was astonishing. "I will kill segregation, or segregation will kill me," Shuttlesworth declared, and he meant it. And he won.

Thank you for your courage, Rev. Shuttlesworth. You were a hero. I'm honored to have had the opportunity to shake your hand. I don't believe in an afterlife, but if I'm wrong, then I'm confident you won't be in hell, because you've already been through Birmingham.

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posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:02 AM on October 5, 2011 [25 favorites]


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posted by easily confused at 11:06 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by joe lisboa at 11:14 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by DreamerFi at 11:17 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Pirx is my co-pilot at 11:37 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by pupdog at 11:38 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by saulgoodman at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Faint of Butt at 11:54 AM on October 5, 2011


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posted by zarq at 12:03 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by wuwei at 12:05 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by cashman at 12:18 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Iridic at 12:45 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Smart Dalek at 1:00 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by parmanparman at 1:11 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by aught at 1:17 PM on October 5, 2011


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FWIW, I've been reading The Warmth of Other Suns. It's ultimately about the great migration north, but it has some really captivating (and infuriating) first-person accounts of life in the Jim Crow South. It's also very well-written. I'd recommend it on any other day, but it seems especially appropriate to do so today. We obviously have a long ways to go, but it's important to realize how far we've come thanks to folks like Reverend Shuttlesworth.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by ahimsakid at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by cookie-k at 1:30 PM on October 5, 2011


Thank you, sir. I am here today because of you.

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posted by magstheaxe at 1:33 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by wayward vagabond at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by 4ster at 1:42 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by boubelium at 2:36 PM on October 5, 2011


Rest in peace, Rev. Shuttlesworth.
posted by penduluum at 2:49 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Mittenz at 4:31 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by LobsterMitten at 6:02 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by mediareport at 8:21 PM on October 5, 2011


He inspired us all to be better human beings.

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posted by kuppajava at 9:27 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Miko at 8:32 PM on October 7, 2011


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