Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on labor history and the civil rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) offers a workshop on Birmingham, tracing its history as an industrial center and its role in the civil rights movement. The workshop begins with an examination of post-Civil War labor relations and the rise of Birmingham as an industrial center before turning to discussion of the role of labor in the civil rights movement. Participants then turn to an in-depth examination of civil rights activism in Birmingham, which includes a panel discussion with veterans of the movement. They visit a variety of sites around the city: Sloss Furnace; Red Mountain Park, where the remnants of several mines are located; Bethel Baptist Church; the Smithfield neighborhood, where residential segregation was challenged in the 1950s; and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. In addition to the project director, presenters include Glenn Eskew (Georgia State University), Calvin Woods (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), Robert Corley (University of Alabama, Birmingham), Horace Huntley (University of Alabama, Birmingham), and G. Douglas Jones (former U.S. attorney), as well as site curatorial staff. Readings are drawn from Eskew's But for Birmingham, Charles Connerly's The Most Segregated City in America, Douglas Blackmon's Slavery by Another Name, and Andrew Manis's biography of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, as well as collections of oral history interviews and primary sources from the BCRI's archives. Participants also view two documentaries: The Barber of Birmingham and NEH-funded Slavery by Another Name.