Civil Rights Organization Visits Students
September 15, 1963 marked a tragic date Birmingham’s history. This day was also extremely instrumental in revolutionizing the civil rights’ movement as we know it. It was on this date that four black girls, two of which were ninth graders at A.H. Parker High School, were killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing.
Fast forward 55 years to September 17, 2018 when several individuals visited Parker High School to speak with history classes. All of the guests were children in Birmingham in 1963. Kids In Birmingham 1963 is an organization that was created during the 50th anniversary of the church bombing. The group offers a space for people to tell their stories of coming of age during such a turbulent time in Birmingham.
Students at Parker High School had an opportunity to hear from several people who recall what it was like to live as a child in Birmingham, AL in 1963. One of those people being Dale Long, a Parker alumnus, who now resides in Garland, TX. Mr. Long’s speech to students encouraged them to continue the legacy of the kids of 1963 by walking upright and obtaining their education. Mr. Long reiterated to students how imperative Birmingham was to the civil rights’ movement in regard to the Civil Rights’ and Voting Rights’ acts of the 1960’s. He also left students with one word to remember from his presentation; serve.
Students were allowed to engage in a Q&A session with guests at the end of the presentation. Questions ranged from the black community’s strength today in comparison to the 60’s to who was arrested during the movement and who was not.
Principal Darrell Hudson asked all visitors to leave students with one word that would motivate students to be successful as they continue to matriculate through their educational journey. Integrity, pride, inquire, resilience, vote, and education were among some of the words visitors shared.
If you are or know of anyone interested in sharing their story of growing up in Birmingham during 1963, stories can be submitted to www.kidsinbirmingham.org.