Birmingham and the Long Black Freedom Struggle by Robert W. Widell Jr.

By Robert W. Widell Jr.

Birmingham, Alabama looms huge within the background of the twentieth-century black freedom fight, yet so far historians have in most cases overlooked the years after 1963. right here, writer Robert Widell explores the evolution of Birmingham black activism into the Nineteen Seventies, delivering a important neighborhood standpoint at the "long" black freedom fight.

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Extra resources for Birmingham and the Long Black Freedom Struggle

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Section I explores these implementation efforts in Birmingham, focusing in particular on CEJO. It begins in with an exploration of the long history of employment discrimination in the city and, more specifically, at ACIPCO. It then details how that long history gave rise to CEJO and informed the activism that its members pursued for decades afterward. 1 Origins of the Committee for Equal Job Opportunity “Being Black” at ACIPCO ACIPCO has a long history in Birmingham, reaching back to the early years of the twentieth century, a time when the city itself was still in its childhood.

In short, it covered nearly all the complaints that ACIPCO’s black employees had expressed over their previous years of employment. At the time that he came across the information about Executive Order 10925, Reverend Murry was serving as chairman of the all-black Auxiliary Board. According to Peter Wrenn, Murry raised the issue at the Board’s next meeting and insisted that ACIPCO’s black employees “petition management to have the . . ”31 Attempting to work through company channels, the Auxiliary Board drafted a letter to that effect.

At the same time, they branched out to lend their support to a wide variety of efforts intended to address issues of concern to African Americans—issues that ranged from police brutality to independent politics to inadequate hospital care. In the process, committee members contributed to a vibrant period of black activism that stretched well into the 1970s. It is to that part of the story that we turn in chapter 3. 3 Staying Active and Branching Out F ollowing the Supreme Court’s decision in Browder v.

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