Civil Rights Legend Rev. Shuttlesworth Dies; Defied Jim Crow Laws | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Civil Rights Legend Rev. Shuttlesworth Dies; Defied Jim Crow Laws

Civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth has died, according to reports. He was 89. In the 1950s, Shuttleworth's activism resulted in beatings and attempts on his life in Birmingham, where he established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in 1956.

The Birmingham News has put up a slideshow of the civil rights leader, along with some highlights of his life-long struggle against racism and discrimination:

The Rev. Shuttlesworth, who was brutally beaten by a mob, sprayed with city fire hoses, arrested by police 35 times and also blown out of his bed by a Ku Klux Klan bomb during his struggle against segregation in Birmingham, said he never feared death.

"I tried to get killed in Birmingham and go home to God because I knew it would be better for you in Birmingham," he once told an audience of students at Lawson State Community College.

In an obituary that airs on All Things Considered this afternoon, Debbie Elliott reports that Shuttlesworth was known for pushing for change in what had come to be called "Bombingham."

And Shuttlesworth was also essential to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as Rep. John Lewis tells Elliott:

"Fred Shuttlesworth had the vision, the determination never to give up, never to give in," Lewis says. "He led an unbelievable children's crusade. It was the children who faced dogs, fire hoses, police billy clubs that moved and shook the nation."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A 'Lasciviously LA' Lunch With Crime Novelist James Ellroy

Ellroy's new novel, Perfidia, follows the Los Angeles police response to a brutal murder on the eve of Pearl Harbor. In a vintage steakhouse, the author discusses the book and his tech-free lifestyle.
NPR

Reality Check For Young Farmers: It's An Expensive 'Habit'

More young people are trying their hand at farming, hoping to make a living out of it. But, as it turns out, passion and grit are just a few of the prerequisites for success.
NPR

Clintons Return To Iowa To Rally Democratic Hopefuls

The Clintons are back in Iowa at an event that is the place to see and be seen for ambitious Democrats. NPR's Arun Rath talks with national political correspondent Don Gonyea.
NPR

Gaming Expert: Destiny Is Good, But 'There's Not Much There'

The much-anticipated video game, Destiny, was released this week. NPR's Lynn Neary speaks with gaming expert Adam Sessler about the new game and whether it was worth all the hype.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.