Interview with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
QUESTION 7
INTERVIEWER:

I'M GOING TO LET YOU FINISH YOUR SENTENCE, I CAN'T REMEMBER QUITE WHERE YOU WERE AT…

Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth:

During the massive demonstrations, when somebody was saying to Mr. Connor, but this is a law abiding country. He said, "Damn the law, down here, I'm the law." So that showed you the conditions we lived under. And of course you must remember that there were bombings between ‘36, I guess and, and ‘50 there'd been, it was, over thirty-five or forty bombings in Birmingham, Alabama. We thought about changing the name to "Bombingham" instead of that. We always said that Birmingham's heart was hard and black like the coal is mined, hard as the ore and the steel is made, it's a magic city, but it was a tragic city. So many disadvantages that blacks had to put up with. Actually they had not too many rights that whites had to respect. And, to put a black in jail for no reason at all was nothing. Many charges were brought up. For instance, the police would—a white used to behave drunk or something around a bar or something and they'd beat him with billy clubs around the legs and send him home. Wouldn't even beat him over the head. But a black would be thrown in jail with multiple charges and some of that still exists in the country now. So, it was an almost almost unthinkable situation, yet, we lived it and we survived under that. There had to be a change. There has had to be.