Interview with Wendell Harris


Wendell Harris:

Sure. Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth had been leading the civil rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama along with uh, Ed Gardner and some others, and nothing really happened. Fred Shuttlesworth went down to Phillips High School downtown one day to do, try to get his children enrolled. That was unsuccessful, when he came out there was a mob and he was actually beaten with chains. There was a little publicity, but nothing happened. Uh, Fred Shuttlesworth had worked long and hard in this city, but he had never moved with the civil rights struggle off dead center. Uh, in comparison to Montgomery, Dr. King went to Montgomery. And looked at the bus boycott with Rosa Parks and he was able to move something in Montgomery, Alabama. That is he got the signs taken down off the buses. But it really never grew out of Montgomery, just stayed right in Montgomery. Uh, and if you when you bring the events of other cities together and into focus into one city with one leader, then it begins to move forward, and that's what happened in Birmingham.