Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country

By Esther Cooper Jackson; Constance Pohl | Go to book overview

15
Birmingham Shall Be Free Some Day, No. 1, 1964

FRED L. SHUTTLESWORTH

Reverend Shuttlesworth was a long-time leader of the Birmingham, Alabama, movement. This piece appeared in a special issue, No. 1, 1964, devoted to the Southern freedom movement.

. . . Years ago, only a few Negro citizens dared to speak out, and there could be no consistent challenge to segregation; the Ku Klux Klan saw to that, and back of them were the police. The unwritten rule was "if the mobs don't stop Negroes, the police will." Not only was there no vociferous clamor for civil rights; the Negro's existence depended upon his keeping quiet and upon the white man's paternalism.

Dialogue between the white and Negro community was non-existent, except that between servant and master; and City Hall's communication was with crooks and racketeers Indeed, men were ar

-84-

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