Birmingham, Alabama is not only a green and thriving monument to the civil rights movement, but also an exciting, thriving city full of culture and fun.
The city was the scene of some of the worst acts of violence during the civil rights movement. Mass protests were met with police crackdown by Chief of Police Eugene “Bull” Connor.
This story will be in Kelly Ingram Park told, which brings visitors closer to the fight of the local African Americans against racial segregation.
The park was established after the mayor of Birmingham visited Israel in the 1970s and was inspired by public narratives about the Holocaust.
“He was inspired by the idea that if this story can be told publicly, to make the world a better place, then Birmingham has something to tell too.”said Barry McNealy, historical content expert on Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
16th Street Baptist Church
Known as the site of revolution and reconciliation, Kelly Ingram Park was where the young people of Birmingham marched to gain entry to the food stalls, department stores and libraries they were not allowed to enter.
Birmingham was known as the “Johannesburg of America” for its extreme racial segregation, reflected in the 1963 white supremacist bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
“This city, in a heartbreaking moment, began to find a way to overcome the hatred that had caused this heartbreak”said McNealy.
“If people from all over the world should take something away from Birmingham, it is the idea that change is possible.”
Culture, food and diversity in Birmingham
Birmingham isn’t just about history, it’s also about food, nightlife and much more. “This is a hidden gem, the people here are nice. We have great food, great beaches, great landscapes – what more do you need?”, said the comedian Jermaine ‘Funnymaine’ Johnson.
Recently there is the in Birmingham CityWalk, a green, public underpass that residents can use in their free time. The city’s many restaurants, bars and entertainment venues are a testament to the power of diversity.
“Modern Birmingham owes everything to the civil rights movement,” so Johnson.
“Without these activists who have paved the way and shown what we can achieve as a united and diverse people when we break apart from segregation and work towards it, the possibilities are endless.”