Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baptist preacher and leader of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama

Fred Shuttlesworth, a Baptist preacher and leader of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama, the worst bastion of segregation in the Deep South, was the bravest of the brave, and it should be. In 1956, he tried to imitate what Martin Luther King Jr., had been in Montgomery - for passengers to sit wherever they wanted blacks on city buses. On Christmas day of 16 sticks of dynamite exploded under their bedroom window. He survived. The following year, he and his wife tried to enroll their child in an elegant white school in Birmingham. White thugs beat him with a washcloth, whips and chains. He survived. During the demonstrations, in 1963, the white firefighters has become a high power hose on it. He shot against a brick wall with such force that he was in hospital for several days. Then, too, he survived.

Shuttlesworth, who died at 89 years, was a founder - with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy and King - of the Conference of the Southern Christian Leadership, the vehicle for the King of the campaigns in throughout the South. He and the king could not be more different. The king was the son of a wealthy and influential preacher in Atlanta, Georgia, very polite and the greatest orator of his generation. Shuttlesworth, who grew up in poverty in rural Alabama, he worked as a laborer and truck driver before graduating to a black school in Selma and become a preacher. At one point, a college professor gave him a friendly cow. Once he had given some milk at the university, the balance was to feed the family of Shuttlesworth.

Shuttlesworth always recognized the leadership of the king, and he left and went to prison with him. But when the king came to the hometown Shuttlesworth for a historic trial of the resistance to segregation, he did not like that for granted. At the height of the crisis, when images of black demonstrators attacked by police dogs and water cannons have been around the world, the king began talks with a group of Jewish businessmen on desegregation department stores. Shuttlesworth was not informed about negotiations, and he was not happy.

was involved in the sit-ins to desegregate the guests, and for the first time in a degree of national fame during the 1961 freedom march, which test the effect of judgments federal courts to ignore the law state of segregation of the bus system. When drivers were beaten in Anniston, Alabama, Shuttlesworth, on its own initiative, organized a convoy of 15 vehicles to save them. Later, when the drivers were surrounded by a crowd of about 1,000 whites armed escort Shuttlesworth other leading civil rights James Farmer, the church. "It was crazy or the bravest man I've never met," Farmer said later. "Shuttlesworth has been through them, as cool as a cucumber. I think he felt intimidated by his audacity."

In 1966 Shuttlesworth became the pastor of Greater New Light Baptist in Birmingham. He received the Presidential Medal of citizens by Bill Clinton in 2001. In 2004 he became president of the Leadership Conference Southern Christian, but soon quit, saying gruffly characteristic that "deceit, mistrust and lack of spiritual discipline and truth have eaten at the center of this organization once sanctified. "He preached his last sermon in 2006, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. In 2008, the airport was renamed Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, which 50 years ago, few local citizens who wanted , let alone predict.

is survived by his second wife, Sephira, four daughters, Patricia, Ruby, Carolyn and Mary, and son, Fred. 14 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and one great-great-grand-son

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