Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


As you have probably heard, the B'ham news recently discover some previously unpublished pictures from the civil rights era. This column inspired me to view them. If you have not seen them yet, make sure to do so. They are fascinating.

I think the faces are the most powerful part. On the one side, dignity, strength, resolution. On the other, bitterness, hate, ignorance. Those opposing integration were supporting not only a lost cause, but an unjust cause. That their cause was unjust is what twisted their humanity.

My favorite picture is one of Lamar Weaver, a white civil rights activist, shaking the hand of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, as the African American pastor and his wife sat in the whites only waiting area of the B'ham train station. Seeing the white hand and the black hand together, along with the sincere welcome on Weaver's face, and Rev. Shuttlesworth's smile of joy, makes you wonder what might have been had more people possessed the virtues exhibited in this picture (it is number eight).