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Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr.

Civil rights activist and pastor Rev. Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. was born on September 13, 1933, in Birmingham, Alabama to Maggie Rosa Lee Wallace Woods, a homemaker, and Abraham Lincoln Woods, Sr., a plant worker and Baptist minister. Woods entered Parker High School at age twelve, where he discovered and developed a skill for shoe repair, tailoring and a gift for public speaking. He graduated in 1950, with a partial scholarship to Miles College.

Throughout the years, Woods would attend the Universal Baptist Institute, the Universal Baptist Seminary and Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College. He holds a B.S. degree in social science, B.D., B.R.E., M.B.S. and D.D. degrees. Woods, his brother, Reverend. Abraham L. Woods, Jr. and Reverend. Fred L. Shuttleswoth co-founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) in 1956. The Woods brothers were introduced to Reverends Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in 1962, when they began working closely with the ACMHR.

In 1960, at the age of twenty-seven, Woods served as pastor for East End Baptist Church. He was arrested and convicted for advocating boycotts of Birmingham’s segregated city bus system. He was sentenced to prison for six months and fined, becoming the first member of the Woods family to be arrested for their participation in the Civil Rights Movement. Woods continued fighting segregation and was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and in 1963, Woods was arrested and beaten by the police for his participation in public protests. The same year, Woods joined the March on Washington. In 1965, Woods protested Birmingham’s voter registration procedures under the leadership of Reverend Edward Gardner, and one year later Woods worked as the strategy chairman for the protest of the shootings of five black protesters at a Birmingham supermarket.

In 2006, at the age of seventy-two, Woods succeeded his brother Abraham as President of the Birmingham SCLC, and became president of the New Era Baptist State Convention a year later. Woods is currently the leader of Shiloh Baptist Church and leads a group called the Prayer Intercessors.

Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 7, 2007

Accession Number

A2007.248

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/7/2007

Last Name

Woods

Maker Category
Middle Name

Wallace

Occupation
Schools

A.H. Parker High School

Tuggle Elementary School

Miles College

East Thomas Elementary School

Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College

Union of Baptist Seminary

Universal Bible Institute

University of Alabama at Birmingham

First Name

Calvin

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

WOO08

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Quote

Time Is Not On Our Side Unless We Grasp It. Tradition Is Not On Our Side Unless We Live And Create It. God Is Not On Our Side Unless We Listen And Obey.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/13/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. (1933 - ) co-founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and participated in the Freedom Rides of 1961, other events of the Civil Rights Movement. He was also the leader of Shiloh Baptist Church, and president of the Birmingham SCLC and the New Era Baptist State Convention.

Employment

Shiloh Baptist Church

Golden Sons Lodge Hall

East End Baptist Church

Roby's Chapel AOH

Believer's Temple Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:444,8:1406,65:6290,250:24204,575:58230,1072:75120,1204:84620,1323:96880,1424:106039,1680:143290,1956:153980,2083$0,0:2187,16:4155,35:70549,616:123735,1151:146828,1462:166756,1706:182566,1939:185592,1996:191820,2033
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106444">Tape: 1 Slating of Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr.'s interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106445">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106446">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his mother's family history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106447">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his grandfather, Reverend Callie Denson Wallace</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106448">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106449">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. comments on the Wallace family name</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106450">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls his relationship with his mother and his childhood church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106451">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. talks about his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106452">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls living with his grandmother, Rebenia Frazier</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106453">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his grandmother's ministry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106454">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls how his parents met and were married</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106455">Tape: 1 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his father's work and his father's calling to preach</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106456">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. clarifies his father's family history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106457">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes where his parents lived after marrying</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106458">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls the sounds, sights and smells of East Thomas, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106459">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106460">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls life during the Great Depression</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106461">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers East Thomas and Tuggle Elementary Schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106462">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recounts being called to preach in the seventh grade</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106463">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes himself as a child and his neighborhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106464">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. talks about his extracurricular activities as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106465">Tape: 2 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his elementary school and Parker High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105422">Tape: 3 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his experiences at Parker High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105423">Tape: 3 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers his high school activities and teachers at Parker High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105424">Tape: 3 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his memories of Parker High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105425">Tape: 3 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls his years as a teenager</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105426">Tape: 3 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his first experience with racism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105427">Tape: 3 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his decision to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama, and to marry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105428">Tape: 3 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his start in the ministry, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106915">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. continues describes his start in the ministry, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106916">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes being arrested trying to integrate Birmingham buses in 1959</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106917">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106918">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his introduction to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106919">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes teaching at the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106920">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the 1963 Birmingham riots</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106921">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers Colonel Stone Johnson, Joe Hendricks, and the Freedom Riders</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106922">Tape: 4 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106474">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his children's and HistoryMkaer James Bevel's involvement in the 1963 Birmingham riots</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106475">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers the political and social environment in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106476">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers confrontations with the Ku Klux Klan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106477">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. talks about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Project C and the 1963 March on Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106478">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes picketing the Liberty Supermarket, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106479">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes picketing the Liberty Supermarket, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106480">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes integration efforts in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106481">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106482">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106483">Tape: 5 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the Civil Rights Movement after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105447">Tape: 6 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the revival of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105448">Tape: 6 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the revival of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105449">Tape: 6 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his college degrees</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105450">Tape: 6 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the churches that he pastored, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105451">Tape: 6 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the churches that he pastored, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105452">Tape: 6 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105453">Tape: 6 Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. expresses his concern for the African American community</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recounts being called to preach in the seventh grade
Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers confrontations with the Ku Klux Klan
Transcript
Tell me what happened.$$Well, I was sitting in the classroom, at what we call the library table. It was just a little table in the room, in the corner of the room. And we had different books. And she would send some children to sit at the library table. If you finish your lesson wanted to go--you could go to the library. And I was a rather smart boy and I could go to the library most--table most any time. And I was sitting there one day and I had this vision, something happened. I didn't know what was going on. I heard some singing and I was looking around and look like heavens opened up. And I saw this long, white pulpit it was like a desk stretched across the bosom of the sky. And Jesus was sitting at that pulpit and people were sitting around him and he was calling me to come up. And I was--was kind of where--where I was but I--I couldn't--couldn't get up, you know, to go. And he stretched out a Bible to me and told me to preach. And so--but before this happened I missed some of it. I heard somebody--I heard the singing and heard somebody calling me. I didn't see anybody and went up to her desk and asked the teacher did she call me. She said, "No." She didn't think that. I set back down and it was still going on. And I started crying. I went up there to her and asked her did she call me. And she said, "Calvin, you must be losing your mind. You're going crazy or something like that." So when I set back down and cried and it really opened up and I saw all of this happen. So it was--I was a little boy. And when school was out, I ran down the hill, my daddy [Abraham Lincoln Woods, Sr.] hadn't gotten home from work. And when he came, I told him what had happened and he said, "Boy, you've been called to preach." So that's what I remember about school. But I didn't preach then, I was a little boy.$$What grade were you in when this happened?$$I think I was in the seventh grade. In the seventh grade when that happened. And I got skipped a lot. I was in high school when I was twelve.$$So you were an excellent student?$$Yes.$This was also a time that you were arrested again and had a confrontation with the Klan [Ku Klux Klan] at that time. Tell me the--$$Well, I was arrested for integrating a downtown lunch counter. And several whites crowded around us and one of the men spit on me. And I told him thank you sir. And a white man standing there couldn't take it. He singlehandedly drove that entire group out of that--that eating establishment. He did that. Now talking about the Klan we had faced the Klan more than one time. And on one occasion we faced the Klan, black woman dropped dead. We were in Hewitt town helping that place. Young man had been killed over there (unclear) and we--we--we were over there helping them. And the Klan were in their regalia and some didn't even have the hoods on. And Ms. Davis dropped dead. On another occasion during the struggle, we went to Decatur, Alabama to assist the people there. And the Klan took over the town, the police and everything and we had to run like rabbits. It was pandemonium in the city of Decatur [Alabama]. And another time when we faced the Klan it was very horrifying. We went to Forsyth, Georgia to help those people. It was terrible. This lady that comes on TV and got all that money, Oprah [Oprah Winfrey]. They brought her in to try to mediate the situation down there. The Klan were all over the place. They outnumbered the police men and all. We had this big march. It's nothing but the grace of God that brought us through. It was out--(unclear) (simultaneous)$$Is this the march that Hosea [Williams] had put together to Forsyth [County?], Georgia?$$Probably so. I don't just recall who put it together, he probably did but we were there. We faced the Klan and we've had instances where we've seen them here. They'd always be dressed up--wouldn't always be dressed up. But we--we--we have faced those things and I've suffice it to say, we've had some white people who stood up with us in the struggle against that dastardly behavior as well as blacks.

Colonel Stone Johnson

Colonel Stone Johnson was born on September 9, 1918, in Hayneville, Alabama, to Fannie and Colonel Johnson. Johnson’s family moved to Birmingham, Alabama, when he was a small child; there he attended Slater School, and graduated from Lincoln School in 1939. While in high school, Johnson began working on the weekends for the Bowden trucking company; after graduation, he continued there full-time. Johnson was then hired to work at the L & M Rail Road Company, where he became the first African American union representative; in this role he worked to equalize working conditions for African American employees, who were often discriminated against. Johnson remained employed by the L & M Rail Road Company for thirty-nine years.

In 1956, Johnson met Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and became active in the Civil Rights Movement after civil rights leaders formed the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) in response to Alabama state officials outlawing the NAACP for its supportive role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

After the bombing of Bethel Baptist Church and the parsonage where Shuttlesworth resided on Christmas Eve in 1958, Johnson became a part of a security detail for the ACMHR and worked to protect black leaders, their homes, and churches from Ku Klux Klan attacks. On one occasion, Johnson and an associate were instrumental in removing ignited dynamite from the Bethel Baptist Church, preventing further destruction and possible loss of life. In 1977, Johnson and one other witness testified against J.B Stoner, chairman of the National States Rights Party, the political arm of the Ku Klux Klan; Stoner was found guilty of conspiring to bomb the Bethel Baptist Church in 1955.

Johnson remained in Birmingham with Beatrice, his wife of over sixty-five years.

Colonel Johnson passed away on January 19, 2012.

Accession Number

A2007.108

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/23/2007

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Stone

Schools

Lincoln High School

Slater Elementary School

First Name

Colonel

Birth City, State, Country

Hayneville

HM ID

JOH29

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nigeria

Favorite Quote

Blessed By The Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/9/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

USA

Death Date

1/19/2012

Short Description

Civil rights activist and railroad worker Colonel Stone Johnson (1918 - 2012 ) worked as part of a security detail for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights that was designed to protect important leaders and meeting places.

Employment

Louisville and Nashville Railroad

Timing Pairs
0,0:2325,31:3255,44:4557,65:23476,295:38400,354:47529,492:48420,562:69415,693:80452,782:87242,889:116740,1193:139349,1426:139930,1460:234460,2377$0,0:82888,895:103510,1061:115948,1463:148920,1743:153410,1766:200058,2043:200650,2054:201094,2061:202352,2076:202796,2083:203314,2091:204350,2133:209150,2213
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534025">Tape: 1 Slating of Colonel Stone Johnson's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534026">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534027">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534028">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534029">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers moving to Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534030">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson describes his father's education and occupations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534031">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers living in a white neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534032">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson recalls his early education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534033">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson lists his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534034">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson recalls his experiences of color discrimination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534035">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the Great Depression</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534036">Tape: 1 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers his first job</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534037">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers becoming a union representative</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534038">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers John L. Lewis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534039">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers delivering newspapers for The Birmingham Post</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534040">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson describes the discriminatory conditions in his union</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534041">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson explains how he joined an all-white union</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534042">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson recalls his brief service in the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534043">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson talks about his experiences of employment discrimination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534044">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson describes segregation in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534045">Tape: 2 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers joining the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534046">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the weekly civil rights meetings in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534047">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson recalls the violence during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534048">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers J.B. Stoner</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534049">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the bombing of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's home</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534050">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers guarding the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534051">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the arrest of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534052">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the attack on the Freedom Riders in Anniston, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534053">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson talks about the bus boycott in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534054">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson recalls Bull Connor's attack on Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534055">Tape: 3 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers escorting Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth from the hospital</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534056">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson talks about color discrimination within the black community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534057">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers A.G. Gaston</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534058">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson talks about his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534059">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers Bobby Cherry's trial</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534060">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson talks about the March on Washington, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534061">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson talks about the March on Washington, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534062">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the white response to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534063">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson recalls the role of religion in the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534064">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534065">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the Voting Rights Act of 1965</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534066">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers his struggle for voting rights</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534067">Tape: 4 Colonel Stone Johnson talks about his retirement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534068">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson shares a message to future generations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534069">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson recalls seeing J.B. Stoner at the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534070">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers testifying against J.B. Stoner</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534071">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers his coworker, Ruby Davis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534072">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534073">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson remembers segregation in Anniston, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534074">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson describes his advice to a neighbor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534075">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson explains why he agreed to be interviewed</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/534076">Tape: 5 Colonel Stone Johnson narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Colonel Stone Johnson remembers the bombing of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's home
Colonel Stone Johnson remembers escorting Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth from the hospital
Transcript
Let's go back to the bombing. That was the first bombing or the second bombing?$$That was the first bombing. They put the wor- Bull [Bull Connor] put the word out, we gonna bomb Shuttlesworth's [HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth] house for his Christmas present, in 1958, Christmas Eve night. And they been saying things like that so much 'til they didn't pay it no mind. They put the bomb between a church [Bethel Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama] and the parsonage. They was that close together, just could walk between the two buildings. They didn't care how, whether your church and your house was a special occasion or not. Folks been taught so bad that they blowed that house up and you could hear it five or six miles. Guess what? Blowed it into splinters from the back to the center of the house up to where his bedroom was. Blowed the mattress out off the bed that Shuttlesworth was sleeping on, and his wife [Ruby Keeler Shuttlesworth]. But nobody got hurt but one person, just a little bit, a little girl. Her, her husband got the church that Shuttlesworth had for forty-something years in Cincinnati [Ohio], Reverend Bester [Harold Bester]. The back of that house went down into splinters. You could see the front, it looked all right. All the doors was so tight, you couldn't open nothing but the back door and it was blowed off the hinges. He had to stoop down to come out the back and they all come out. Shuttlesworth come out first and, as he was coming out, he met the assistant chief of police. He used to stay right down the street there. And he said, "Well Fred," say, "I guess you'll get out of town now, you see Mr. Bull gonna have you killed." He said, "No. You said if you was I, I'm not none of you," said, "God give me something to do, I got to do it." And the next day was Sunday, that was Saturday night, Christmas Eve, 1958, and he got out there on the church ground and preached the eleven o'clock sermon. Wasn't no lights in the church. All the lights fell down out the ceiling. Anything, all the fixtures in the church, but the church still standing. They got a brand new church. The federal government done give them the money, the grant, but they got to match it, and that's when we organized the watchmen of the church. We had to get a lot of them because they was afraid to stay out there by they selves.$And about 1:30 or 2:00, Reverend Shuttlesworth [HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth] called me, said, "Johnson [HistoryMaker Colonel Stone Johnson], say go out to the parsonage and get me some clean clothes, I just got through talking to my wife [Ruby Keeler Shuttlesworth], I got to have dry clothes." And I did. I called my two buddies what rode with me. Went to Cartersville [Alabama] to the new parsonage and got a change of clothes, and he had left orders at the hospital [Holy Family Community Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama] not to let Shuttlesworth out. He put the order out. Aw he was a, he was a bugger, and I happened to know the family of this young lady. She was one of the Solomon [ph.] girls. And when we walked in the hospital, she dropped her head, never did look up no more, and we walked right by her, went on up to his room and he put his clothes, pulled off that little lighting gown he had on. We started back, she dropped her head again. She didn't have to lie, she didn't see nobody, and we come out and I took Fred to room number ten, the suite, to A.G. Gaston Motel [Birmingham, Alabama]. He said, "Johnson," say, "you been up all day and all night." Say, "Go home and get you some sleep." And I said, "Okay," I said, "but if you need me before day call me." And I walked on up to the room with him. Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was speaking and he said, "I don't know what we gonna do. I'm just a visitor here. Fred Shuttlesworth is the boss of this march." And said, "I guess we have to call the march off." (Laughter) Shuttlesworth said, "To hell you say, I'm here." And he said, "Let's rest a little while." And Martin Luther King went to smiling and laughing. He said, "How you get out this time of night?" (Points) He said, "The Lord open doors for you." And they didn't march until the next evening, but they marched. Shuttlesworth say, "I'm gonna march if nobody march but me." And he did. Now what you want (laughter) (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) What about, you talked about the 16th Street Baptist Church [Birmingham, Alabama] and you said that you couldn't go up there, something you alluded to when we were off camera.

Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr.

Reverend Abraham Lincoln Woods, Jr. was born on October 7, 1928 to Maggie and Abraham Woods, Sr. in Birmingham, Alabama. Woods attended Parker High School and was given a scholarship to attend Morehouse College. Completing one year at Morehouse, Woods became ill and returned home. During this time, he acknowledged his call to the ministry. Woods received his B.A. degree in theology from the Birmingham Baptist College, his B.A. degree in sociology from Miles College in Birmingham, and his M.A. degree in American history from the University of Alabama. He also completed all the credits needed for his Ph.D.

Woods became a charter member of the Alabama Christian Movement and served as the vice president alongside Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth. He served as the director for the Miles College Voter Registration Project and would later become President of the Birmingham Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Woods led the first sit-in at a department store in Birmingham and was jailed for five days. In the summer of 1963, he worked for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the deputy director for the Southeast and helped to mobilize the historic March on Washington. He was often asked to speak on behalf of Dr. King because of his oratorical skills.

Woods would later recruit African Americans, especially those with prior military police experience to take the exam for the Birmingham Police Department. He and Dr. Jonathan McPherson assisted them in preparing for the test.

In 1968, Woods was the first African American to teach American history at the University of Alabama. He lectured on Dr. King’s non-violent and conflict resolution philosophy. Woods served for forty years as a faculty member at Miles College. He retired in 2002, and Miles College conferred upon him the Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Woods has been the pastor of St. Joseph’s Baptist Church in Birmingham for thirty-seven years. He is a member of the Trustee Board of Birmingham Bible College, the Baptist Ministers’ Conference, the United States Capital Historical Society and Phi Delta Kappa.

Woods passed away on November 7, 2008 at age 80.

Woods was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 23, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.107

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/23/2007

9/7/2007

Last Name

Woods

Middle Name

Lincoln

Schools

Morehouse College

Miles College

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College

University of Alabama

First Name

Abraham

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

WOO07

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/7/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Longwood

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Death Date

11/7/2008

Short Description

Civil rights leader, american history professor, and minister Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. (1928 - 2008 ) was president of the Birmingham, Alabama chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and held sit-ins in Birmingham. Woods also helped in mobilizing the March on Washington.

Employment

Miles College

First Metropolitan Baptist Church

Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Molton Allen & Williams

McWare Cast Iron Pump Company

Favorite Color

Maroon

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466989">Tape: 1 Slating of Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr.'s interview, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466990">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466991">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466992">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466993">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466994">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his parents' relationship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466995">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466996">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466997">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. lists his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466998">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his childhood home</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/466999">Tape: 1 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls his family's financial difficulties</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467000">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers his family's eviction, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467001">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls his grandmother's bootlegging</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467002">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers his family's eviction, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467003">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers the East Thomas School in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467004">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls gang activity during his youth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467005">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the Lincoln School in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467006">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467007">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls attending Atlanta's Morehouse College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467008">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers Benjamin Mays</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467009">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls his aspirations at Morehouse College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467010">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers working at The Varsity</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467011">Tape: 2 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his religious education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467012">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls Birmingham Baptist College in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467013">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls joining the faculty of Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467014">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers meeting his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467015">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls being courted by his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467016">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers being dismissed by a jealous supervisor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467017">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers his call to the ministry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467018">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls founding the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467019">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his role in the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467020">Tape: 3 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers Colonel Stone Johnson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467021">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the wrongful arrest of Montgomery preachers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467022">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the bombing of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's home</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467023">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers desegregating the buses in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467024">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the ousting of Bull Connor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467025">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls leading his first sit-in</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467026">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers being arrested at sit-ins</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467027">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls being assigned to manual labor in jail</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467028">Tape: 4 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers registering voters at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467029">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the civil rights activities at Miles College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467030">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers the University of Alabama at Birmingham</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467031">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the student march in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467032">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. lists his children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467033">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the impact of the student march in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467034">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's hospitalization</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467035">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers organizing the March on Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467036">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the crowd at the March on Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467037">Tape: 5 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes the I Have A Dream speech</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467038">Tape: 6 Slating of Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr.'s interview, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467039">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the impact of the March on Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467040">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls being hired at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467041">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls directing a voting education project</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467042">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls his decision to attend graduate school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467043">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls studying at the University of Alabama at Birmingham</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467044">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls teaching at the University of Alabama at Birmingham</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467045">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes his organizational involvement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467046">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. talks about the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467047">Tape: 6 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. talks about other civil rights organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467048">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the SCLC's partner organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467049">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes the surveillance of civil rights activists</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467050">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467051">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the arrest of child protestors</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467052">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the first boycott in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467053">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the activists at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467054">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467055">Tape: 7 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467056">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the mayoral election of Albert Boutwell</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467057">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers Birmingham official David Vann</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467058">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls his SCLC chapter presidency</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467059">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467060">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers the Civil Rights Act of 1964</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467061">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers Bloody Sunday</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467062">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the police shooting in Hueytown, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467063">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers Bonita Carter's death, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467064">Tape: 8 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers Bonita Carter's death, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467065">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers David Vann's position on Bonita Carter's murder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467066">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls organizing a march for Bonita Carter</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467067">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls asking Richard Arrington, Jr. to run for mayor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467068">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes Richard Arrington, Jr.'s mayoral campaign</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467069">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the mayoralty of Richard Arrington, Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467070">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls advocating for Maggie Bozeman and Julia Wilder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467071">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential bid</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467072">Tape: 9 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls segregation at the Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467073">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. remembers being sued by George Sands</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467074">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls integrating the Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467075">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing investigation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467076">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing trials</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467077">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls the convictions of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467078">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls creating the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467079">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls creating the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467080">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/467081">Tape: 10 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. shares a message to future generations</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$9

DATitle
Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. recalls founding the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights
Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. describes the I Have A Dream speech
Transcript
All right, so, now you become the pastor of First Metropolitan Church [First Metropolitan Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama]. In fifty--and tell me what happens next? What happens next?$$All right. In the late 1950s, after the [U.S.] Supreme Court case, Brown v. the Board of Education [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954], where the Supreme Court handed down the ruling and said separate but equal is inherently unequal, and overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson [Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896] ruling in the 1890s, I believe it was, and said that there had to be desegregation with all deliberate speed--well, at that time the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] here in Birmingham [Alabama] was attacked not only in Birmingham, but in the state was attacked. And the attorney general of the state asked the NAACP to turn over its membership roster to them, as if there was some shady persons--Communists, or this, that, and the other, who were part of the membership. They refused to do it, because they knew it was a witch hunt. Teachers were vulnerable, and other people who had jobs were vulnerable. And they had no problem with dismissing you from your job when you were a part of that kind of activity. So the NAACP refused to do it, and as a result, it was enjoined from operating in the State of Alabama. I had started working with a young lady who was working with Mr. Patton [W.C. Patton], and Mr. Patton was the voter education person for the national NAACP. And Reverend Shuttlesworth [HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth] was a part of that organization, too. So after the NAACP was outlawed in the State of Alabama, Reverend Shuttlesworth called a mass meeting at the Sardis Baptist Church [Sardis Missionary Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama] and said we need an organization that will carry the struggle on. And he was criticized; some of the minsters criticized him, and other people criticized him. And one outstanding preacher said to him, he said "Shuttlesworth, the Lord told me to tell you that you should not organize this organization." And of course, Shuttlesworth shot back and said, "When has the Lord started giving you my messages?" (Laughter) And so he organized it and we embraced it. And I shall never forget, he said, "They killed the old hen," referring to the NAACP, "but before she died, she had some biddies." And the Alabama Christian Movement [Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights] was one of those biddies, and it turned out to be a fighting rooster. This was now in the latter part of the 1950s.$And we marched to the Lincoln Memorial [Washington, D.C.], and I shall never forget. I found my place in the VIP section. I was standing in front of the huge statue of [President] Abraham Lincoln sitting there in the Lincoln Memorial. Some little distance from me was Martin [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] with the guards around him, and other people. And we were looking out on the Reflecting Pool [Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C.], and there were wall to wall folks all around the Reflecting Pool, some standing, some sitting with their feet in the water. And not only were there people around on the level land, but in all of the trees; there were people in the trees, everywhere. I'm telling you, that was a sight that made us glad. And of course the activities started, the singing. And one of the singers was Mahalia Jackson, and of course she had a soulful kind of way of singing. And there were others who did sing, too, but I remember Mahalia Jackson. And there were the speeches. And we got down to Martin Luther King, and he was introduced by none other than J. Philip Randolph [sic. A. Philip Randolph]. And if you have really heard about J. Philip Randolph, he was the dean of the civil rights struggle. He was head of the Pullman car porters, and it was really his idea that we have that march. And he had an eloquent sort of bass voice, a baritone voice, and he introduced King, "Martin Luther King, J-R," and Martin came to the podium, and he led up to I Have a Dream. Now, I know you've heard it on cassette tapes and you've seen it maybe video. But you just needed to have been there. It was something in the air, a kind of charge, some kind of electric in the air that was coursing up and down in our bodies, I'm telling you. King got into his speech with the kind of cadence that he, he used. I'm telling you, he lifted us. I guess we were sort of mesmerized, sort of in a hypnotic trance or something. He just lifted us out of ourselves. "And I have a dream that my little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." And of course, he talked about the promissory note that had come back with insufficient funds, and all of that. And he finally said that, he told us to go on back to the Delta Mississippi. Go on back to Stone Mountain in Georgia. Go on back to this, yonder and that. And he said, "When that day come, we will be able to sing the old spiritual with new meaning, 'Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, we're free at last.'"

Joe Hendricks

Civil rights activist, mill worker and personal guard Joe Hendricks was born on March 22, 1927 in Boligee, Alabama to Louis Hendricks, a deacon, and Betty Hendricks, a former slave and housewife. Actively involved in the church from a young age, Hendricks would later utilize church grounds as a clandestine meeting place for civil rights discussions.

In 1941, after finishing the eighth grade at Jane Woods Elementary School, Hendricks began working at Jim Dandy, a mill that produced dog food, grits and corn meal. Eventually, Hendricks became a pack operator for the mill and joined the Workers’ Union. After Hendricks joined the union, he lost his job at the mill and was forced into unemployment for ten months. During Hendricks’ period of unemployment, he became the guard for civil rights activist and religious leader Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth. In addition to being Shuttleworth’s guard, Hendricks frequently participated in Monday night meetings at his local church, where African Americans in the community would discuss upcoming civil rights activities, including organizational strategies for protests and sit-ins. Hendricks was often subjected to dog attacks and dangerous water hose sprayings during protests. Hendricks was on duty guarding Rev. Shuttleworth’s house when it was bombed by several unnamed persons in 1956.

Hendricks eventually regained his position at the Jim Dandy mill, and retired after thirty-eight years of service. He still remains active in his community, and is involved in his local church choir at the New Pilgrim Baptist Church.

Joe Hendricks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 22, 2007.

Joe Hendricks passed away on August 23, 2012.

Accession Number

A2007.105

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/22/2007

Last Name

Hendricks

Maker Category
Schools

Jones Wood Elementary School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Joe

Birth City, State, Country

Boligee

HM ID

HEN04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

North

Favorite Quote

Give Thanks To The Lord, For He Is Good

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/22/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish, Vegetables

Death Date

8/23/2012

Short Description

Civil rights activist and mill worker Joe Hendricks (1927 - 2012 ) was the guard for Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. Joe Hendricks was present at the bombing of Reverend Fred Shuttleworth's house in 1956. He was the target of many attacks on civil rights protestors led by Alabama police chief Bull Connor.

Employment

Western Grain Company

Rev. Fred Shuttleworth

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:50252,568:105100,1128:113022,1282:173482,1974:185510,2116$0,0:190,3:1030,19:2350,41:2650,47:3010,54:3310,60:4150,78:4390,83:6416,93:7076,104:8132,127:8594,136:8858,141:10178,177:10772,189:11498,229:43600,479:44251,487:47712,524:48256,529:66590,650:71796,697:72372,708:91720,1027:100955,1097:101525,1131:111050,1219:122510,1355:134750,1489:135344,1502:151465,1657:152017,1670:155949,1709:156501,1718:157122,1728:157398,1733:158019,1746:159951,1784:160503,1794:161538,1809:161814,1814:162228,1822:162504,1831:166630,1868:174142,1958:240588,2446:241116,2451:242832,2743:247086,2839:254169,2943:260279,3010:272369,3218:273764,3249:281080,3284
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419293">Tape: 1 Slating of Joe Hendricks's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419294">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419295">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks remembers choosing to adopt his maternal grandfather's name</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419296">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks describes his maternal grandparents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419297">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks describes his mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419298">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419299">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks remembers his paternal grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419300">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks remembers his paternal grandfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419301">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks describes his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419302">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks lists his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419303">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks describes his childhood pastimes</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419304">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks remembers the Great Depression</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419305">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks describes his early church involvement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419306">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419307">Tape: 1 Joe Hendricks remembers the Jones Wood School in Tishabee, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419308">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks describes his education at Jones Wood School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419309">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks describes his early activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419310">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks remembers working for Western Grain Company in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419311">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks recalls mediating for the United Steelworkers of America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419312">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks recalls his termination from the Western Grain Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419313">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks recalls challenging his termination from the Western Grain Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419314">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks remembers guarding Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's home</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419315">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks recalls the arrest of a white congregant</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419316">Tape: 2 Joe Hendricks remembers Monday civil rights meetings in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419317">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks recalls his imprisonment for civil disobedience</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419318">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks recalls rescuing the Freedom Riders in Anniston, Alabama, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419319">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks recalls rescuing the Freedom Riders in Anniston, Alabama, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419320">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks describes his concerns about driving the white female Freedom Riders</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419321">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks describes his wife's role in the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419322">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks recalls his interactions with Bull Connor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419323">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks remembers Alabama's segregation laws</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419324">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks recalls the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419325">Tape: 3 Joe Hendricks recalls Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's church in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419904">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks recalls a confrontation with Bull Connor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419905">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks recalls protecting James Armstrong's family from the Ku Klux Klan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419906">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks recalls the treatment of child demonstrators</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419907">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks describes his training in nonviolence</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419908">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks recalls meetings of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419909">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks describes his employer's disapproval of his civil rights activity</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419910">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks remembers Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419911">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks talks about his children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419912">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks talks about his retirement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419913">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419914">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419915">Tape: 4 Joe Hendricks shares his message to future generations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/419338">Tape: 5 Joe Hendricks narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Joe Hendricks recalls rescuing the Freedom Riders in Anniston, Alabama, pt. 2
Joe Hendricks describes his training in nonviolence
Transcript
So we got there and the sheriff and the police stopped me outside of the building. "Where you going?" I said, "I'm here, I, because I'm interested in trying to get these people to Birmingham [Alabama] and I'd like to talk to someone." "I ain't got nothing to talk about." I said, "Well, all's I know I didn't make an appointment with you but I'm here for that purpose and I'd like to talk to someone." I said, "Normally because I have a chance to talk to no one but you because you did, you are the officer that have the law under control that you are the person that I have to respect because you're the law." I said, "But I'm asking you if I could go in and talk to 'em or would you, could I talk to you and you, me and you could work out something?" So he, we, we did. So he finally said, "Somebody ought to do something." I said, "Officer, you're right, somebody should do something." I said, "But, ain't no one can do nothing about this but you." I said, "You stopped me before I could get inside to talk to the people in there and when you said, stop, you're the law and I stopped." I said, "The only somebody that can do something about this is you. You are the person that's in charge."$$So did he let you in to talk to any of the people?$$No.$$Okay. Were you able to get them out to take them to Birmingham?$$Well we got 'em out finally. So he said to me, finally. I said, "Officer, don't you answer me now." I said, "Think about it and then give me an answer." So he did. When he came back, he said, "I'll tell you what, I'm going to go over here and I'm going to get with the other policemen and we're going to take a vote." I said, "I appreciate that." So he did.$$Who are they voting on?$$Whether they're going to let me get 'em out of there or not.$$Oh, I see, okay.$$So, he finally came back. He said, "Well they said you can get 'em under one circumstance." I said, "What's that?" "If you take 'em, you take 'em on your own and don't call us and don't expect us to do nothing but we'll let you have 'em but don't expect us to have anything to do with whatever happens to you."$In preparation for these marches, and at these Monday night meetings, tell me more about the strategies that were used and you said you were trained not to hit back. What were some of the meetings and trainings like?$$Well, the training was this. If you were out there with a .38 and these people out there with a machine gun, what you going to strike for? You know, you got to study the direction of where I'm going and what's there after I get there. You can't go in there knowing that you don't have the equipment to deal with the circumstance. We act up one night and I'd get in our work. We've taken care of the police department but when they called in the National Guards, see, those people can call the National Guards, part of the [U.S.] Army and all that junk, and those people don't understand what is, what hasn't experienced it. When they called the National Guards in here and they got off, that's like, have you ever see blackbirds fly? When a man say, hip hop, they hit the ground all at once. So when they hit the ground sound like wind (makes sound). When they hit the ground, there was some apartments there, didn't have no one in it. When they hit the ground when they, (makes sound), it dropped, toppled over those apartments. When they got off, they got off and they swung those guns and cut that top off of the side but when you go to looking at the facts, you got to deal, you've got to be prepared to deal with how far to go.$$Okay, so that's what the training was about?$$(Nods head) And then those dogs was pulling your clothes off you and cutting your clothes down your side, all this kind of stuff but you got to be able to deal with it.$$Well what did they teach you about if something like that were to happen like if the hoses come or, was there any instruction if they were to hose you down of, or let loose the dogs, what were you supposed to do?$$We, we overcome the hose. We made up, we made our, we made our condition to overcome the hose.$$And how?$$A man, a young, a young guy, one of their leaders out of town came here and they was washing us down the street with the hose. He said, "Come here, come here." He taken those children and us and made five people against this person and the other person against the other person. Say now, when they hit you with the hose, all you, you all lean the same way and go on downtown. He said, I don't want the girls on the outside, give me all boys over here, at least two boys on this side and the girls in the middle and when he hit you with the hose, all you, you all push in that direction. We went on downtown to sit in a neighbor store, we want to sit in, (laughter) but it--$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): When you sat in the stores, what had you been trained to do?$$Go sit in and they--$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): And then do what?$$And they, if they come out there saying something about you sitting down, you sit on the floor, (laughter) you know, make use of it, that's what they call the sit-in and then you deal with it, the problem 'cause you know what you expect that when you get there. So you have to prepare. That's what you do when you go face down, don't you? So, those were the thing that you, come with, you have to do. If you don't deal with it, you can't ignore the fact.

Joe Dickson

Joe Dickson was born on March 5, 1933, in Montgomery, Alabama, to Mary Rachael and Robert Dickson. Dickson was raised by his widowed mother and his aunt Gertrude; he attended a Catholic elementary school before the family moved to the projects in Birmingham in 1939. Dickson graduated from Fairfield Industrial High School in 1950, and worked as a welder until he entered the United States Army.

Dickson then enrolled in Miles College from which he received his B.A. degree in sociology. While at Miles College, Dickson was involved in the civil rights marches and selective buying campaigns; he was arrested along with Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth and other civil rights activists in front of the federal court house in Birmingham. In the 1960s, Dickson joined A.G. Gaston’s Washington Insurance Company as an insurance agent, working in six different counties. Dickson also worked with the Urban League and acted as the deputy director for an experimental demonstration project at Miles College that trained African Americans for jobs within the community.

In 1970, Dickson attended Howard University Law School from which he earned his J.D. degree in 1973. Dickson then returned to Alabama and formed his own real estate and construction company. Dickson was the President of the Alabama Republican Council for a number of years and was asked to work for the former governor of Alabama, Guy Hunt, as the Assistant of Minority Affairs in 1988. Dickson began working with the Birmingham World newspaper in 1987 and in 1989 returned to run the paper. Dickson married Dr. Charlie Mae Dickson; together they had eight adult children.

Dickson passed away on July 21, 2018.

Accession Number

A2007.106

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/22/2007

Last Name

Dickson

Maker Category
Schools

Fairfield Industrial High School

Robinson Elementary School

Miles College

Howard University School of Law

First Name

Joe

Birth City, State, Country

Montgomery

HM ID

DIC04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/5/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Fish

Death Date

7/21/2018

Short Description

Real estate entrepreneur and civil rights activist Joe Dickson (1933 - 2018) was involved in the civil rights marches and selective buying campaigns in Birmingham. Dickson later formed his own real estate and construction company, was the President of the Alabama Republican Council, and served as Alabama's assistant of Minority Affairs.

Employment

Urban League

Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Booker T. Washington Insurance Company

Vulcan Real Estate Investment Corporation

Century 21 Real Estate

State of Alabama

Birmingham World

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:240,70:14640,289:18480,363:47042,665:53184,765:56753,826:70530,1059:74850,1168:75170,1173:77250,1201:85060,1297:90820,1473:96220,1622:111820,1791:112520,1809:116580,1898:116860,1908:117770,1928:118400,1940:119240,1955:134562,2216:143770,2324:155212,2646:163148,2707:175566,2875:175936,2881:176972,2911:185450,3068:189660,3138:191768,3198:201590,3334:206765,3410:222970,3634:226956,3677:228252,3710:232330,3791:235710,3847$0,0:17776,609:19980,681:31425,950:40230,1224:43220,1324:98584,1874:105226,2017:109662,2066:114380,2152:124140,2383:135122,2499:173710,2998
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543221">Tape: 1 Slating of Joe Dickson's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543222">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543223">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543224">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson remembers his maternal grandmother and great-grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543225">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson talks about his maternal uncles</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543226">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson describes his mother's occupation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543227">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson describes his mother's education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543228">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson remembers his homeschooling</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543229">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson recalls the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543230">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson remembers his relatives' deaths from pneumonia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543231">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543232">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson talks about his father's work ethic</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543233">Tape: 1 Joe Dickson remembers moving with his siblings to Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543234">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson recalls his attempt to run away from his aunt and uncle's home</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543235">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson remembers Robinson Elementary School in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543236">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson describes his experiences at Robinson Elementary School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543237">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson remembers his newspaper delivery route</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543238">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson describes his early personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543239">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson recalls Principal E.J. Oliver at Fairfield Industrial High School in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543240">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson describes his experiences at Fairfield Industrial High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543241">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson recalls learning African American history at Fairfield Industrial High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543242">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson describes the community of Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543243">Tape: 2 Joe Dickson recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543244">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson talks about claiming his mother as a dependent</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543245">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson remembers the racial tensions in the integrated U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543246">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson describes his training in the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543247">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson recalls qualifying for disability compensation from the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543248">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson remembers seeing Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in a parade</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543249">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson remembers his decision to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543250">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson describes his experiences at Miles College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543251">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson remembers joining the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543252">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson remembers his graduation from Miles College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543253">Tape: 3 Joe Dickson describes the civil rights activities at Miles College, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543254">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson describes the civil rights activities at Miles College, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543255">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson recalls working at the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543256">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson remembers working at H.C. Bowhang</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543257">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson remembers his return to Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543258">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson talks about his first marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543259">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson recalls his difficulties at the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543260">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson remembers working for the White Dairy Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543261">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson recalls the selective buying campaign in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543262">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson remembers marching with Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543263">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson recalls his release from jail</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543264">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson remembers his offer to work for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543265">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson remembers working for A.G. Gaston in Tuskegee, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543266">Tape: 4 Joe Dickson describes how he came to work for the Excel Superstores</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543267">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson recalls the attacks on Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543268">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson remembers being accused of stealing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543269">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson remembers the job training program at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543270">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson remembers working for the Urban League's Project Assist</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543271">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson recalls working as an insurance salesman at Blue Cross Blue Shield</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543272">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson remembers the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543273">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson describes his wife and children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543274">Tape: 5 Joe Dickson remembers a lesson from A.G. Gaston</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543275">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson recalls the start of his real estate career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543276">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson talks about his real estate career with A.G. Gaston</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543277">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson remembers working as the gubernatorial assistant for minority affairs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543278">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson remembers leaving the office of Alabama Governor H. Guy Hunt</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543279">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson recalls his nomination to the State of Alabama's personnel board</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543280">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson talks about his realty company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543281">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson remembers a lesson from his mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543282">Tape: 6 Joe Dickson describes his plans for the Birmingham World newspaper</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543283">Tape: 7 Joe Dickson recalls facing criticism as the owner of the Birmingham World</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543284">Tape: 7 Joe Dickson reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543285">Tape: 7 Joe Dickson describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543286">Tape: 7 Joe Dickson shares a message to future generations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/543287">Tape: 7 Joe Dickson reflects upon the racial history of the United States</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$4

DAStory

1$10

DATitle
Joe Dickson recalls the attacks on Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth
Joe Dickson recalls his release from jail
Transcript
Okay. Before we go on to you managing Excel Superstores [ph.], right before you left Tuske- I mean to go to Tuskegee [Alabama], there was an incident with the kids in the park that you were telling about off camera.$$Well, what I thought I was telling you was that after the, the initial arrest being arrest and the sit ins were happening all over--all over the south and we were trying to integrate these lunch counters and the other restaurants and things. In the--in these department stores like Loveman's, Pizitz, they had a nice eating places in there. And so the kids were up there in the, the--they were--well we would let a senior student probably would take 'em up there to, to sit in and in these restaurants they had, you know.$$Um-hm.$$And you--as a consequence, it got out of hand. And so they called out and said that they were acting--the kids were acting kind of bad and for somebody to come up there and get them. So Fred [HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth] went up there to get them. And I just was happening to be coming in at that time--'cause not coming in, I was coming, going about to go up there too. And so Fred had brought them from downtown, they were on 17th Street and he was on the left hand side coming, going north like you coming back to 16th Street Baptist Church [Birmingham, Alabama]. And right there at the--'cause Nelson Brothers Cafe [Birmingham, Alabama] was right there. And right time Fred got right there he had a white handkerchief in his hand. And he had right it--it was going--was going across--we was finna go--they were gonna go across the street and come down by the Masonic Temple [Masonic Temple Building, Birmingham, Alabama] on past the hotel and (unclear) and all that bunch down through there. And by the time he got right at the end, they put the water hose on him. They put the water hose on Fred, knocked him up against that wall while they was--and when he was coming off the wall another hose hit him and knocked him back up. Fred got up. Malcolm X was standing over on the other corner over there and when--when Fred got up, I don't see how. He got up and looked at him and several us said, "Don't put no more water on him." So he went on past and marched the kids on down past the hostess, the new (Unclear) hotel. And the new (Unclear) restaurant was the hotel up there. Walked on down there--there used to be a barbershop and was Ms. Lurleen [ph.] had her health and beauty aids stand right there. And some guys, tried to get in the--in the--they were keeping the kids in a single file march, keep, trying to keep it orderly. The streets were full. But they kept the kids in order to get them back in the church. Some black guys tried to get in the line and this white policeman told them, "You can't get in this line. You ain't worthy. You ain't good enough. You ain't good as these people." Said, "Get out move back." He was out--they were get in there after the kids have gone up on there and got in the line and marched back. They were gonna get in the line. The police said, "You ain't--you not good as these folk. Move back, move back." So when the kids got--when Fred got them across the street there--got all the children inside going in the church, Fred was going down in this little basement like thing on the right side that you can go down. Them folks put that water hose on Fred, about six or seven water hoses on him. And look like they tried to flood the basement. All I know is, I thought he was dead. They was trying to kill him with--Birmingham [Alabama] fire--firemen were trying to kill him. Fred survived that. I saw him over here yesterday. And that was--and I--and right after that I didn't--I didn't--I didn't wanna be nonviolent no more. That was--'cause that was--totally they didn't have to do that, you know.$So the next day the guy said, "[HistoryMaker] Joe Dickson all the way." I didn't know what he was talking about. So one of the guys in the--one of the criminals said, "All the way. Man, you going, you going. You getting out." I said, "All the way?" He said, "All the way mean you going and you getting out." I went out, they didn't say nothing, chewing gum didn't say nothing. Then another--another time we go to jail, I went to jail again they didn't say nothing. And the next time I went Piggy [ph.] told me he said, "Joe, we kind of want you on these debits and thing, you know, we need you to get some results for me. You made your--you made your witness. You can do that." Then I slip off and come over here and be with Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] and we would--then we went down in the poolroom, go to get the knives from people and so they wouldn't be cutting and beating on them. We went down there the police told us to get out. They ran us out the poolroom. They didn't want us in there. They didn't want us to bring no peace. So the last time I went to jail--I went to jail with N.A. Smith [Nelson Smith], he's dead now, John Porter. They had arrested everybody. All most of them were in jail. And weren't nobody out but Reverend Gardner [Edward Gardner] and he was the man that was getting folks out of jail. So I'm sitting next to John Porter, Reverend Porter I said, "Reverend," I said, "Reverend Porter, man it looks like they got us." I said, "Man, it's all over." I said, "They got us." And I said, "Martin in jail. Fred [HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth] in jail. Ralph [Ralph Abernathy] in jail." All them folks in jail. I said, "Man," I said, "what we gonna do?" Porter told me this he said--he said, "Don't worry about it." He said, "Martin is dealing from on high." Same thing happened again. That next morning we still got all us thinking we gonna get on out, and the next morning, "Joe Dickson all the way." When I got over there to that office, Piggy was there. He said, "Joe you know the old man believe in what y'all doing." He said, "But we got a job for you in Tuskegee [Alabama]." He said, "We've already," (laughter), "talked to the lady down there. All you got to do is go down there and report. Don't get in no--don't go in no--just get in the--your car. Get in the car with an agent that rides and learn them debits. And so we can do some business down there." He said, "The old man believe this, that we need to do this. We need to fight this and everything is fine." He said, "But when they integrate, and if they integrate, if you go in there and buy a hamburger or a hotdog you gonna have to pay for it. So you go on to Montgomery [Alabama]. Pass on through Montgomery, you go to Tuskegee." And they sent me to Tuskegee to work (laughter).$$So it's--what year was this?$$It had to be around '64 [1964], '64 [1964]. Sixty--'64 [1964] or '65 [1965]. Maybe '64 [1964] or '65 [1965].$$Okay.

Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth

One of the most relentless figures of the Civil Rights Movement, the Reverend Fred Lee Shuttlesworth was born on March 18, 1922, in Montgomery County, Alabama. His biological father was Vetta Greene. However, Shuttlesworth was raised by his mother, Alberta Robinson Shuttlesworth and his stepfather, William Nathan Shuttlesworth, a farmer in rural Oxmoor, Alabama. Shuttlesworth attended Oxmoor Elementary School where he was mentored by teacher Israel Ramsey. He started as a student at Wenonah School, but graduated from Rosedale High School in 1940. Shuttlesworth married Ruby Keeler, a nurse, in 1941 and moved to Mobile in 1943 where he became a truck driver and studied auto mechanics. Rev. E.A. Palmer encouraged Shuttlesworth to attend Cedar Grove Academy, a local bible college. In 1945, he delivered a sermon at Selma University and decided to pursue his A.B. degree there and later at Alabama State College. By 1950, Shuttlesworth was the pastor of First Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama, and in 1953, he returned to Birmingham as pastor of Bethel Baptist Church.

In May of 1956, at a mass meeting at Bethel, Shuttlesworth established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR). In December of that year, the United States Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, was illegal. Shuttlesworth immediately announced that the ACMHR was going to test segregation laws in Birmingham. On Christmas night the Shuttlesworth house was blown up by sixteen sticks of Ku Klux Klan dynamite. Shuttlesworth, who landed in the basement and whose bedroom was blown apart, and visiting Deacon Charles Robinson were unharmed. Shuttlesworth, then, led a rally the very next day. He was beaten by police in 1957 for trying to enroll his daughter in an all white school and that same year joined with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and Bayard Rustin to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He also assisted the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in organizing the Freedom Rides. Shuttlesworth was hospitalized in 1963 as a result of being attacked by Sheriff Bull Connor’s water cannons as he led a mass nonviolent demonstration. However, Shuttlesworth continued to work to secure Birmingham’s public accommodations and the desegregation of its schools.

In 1966, Shuttlesworth became the pastor of the Greater New Light Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and served as founding director of the Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation. The recipient of numerous awards, Shuttlesworth was a remarkable figure and unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement.

Shuttlesworth passed away on October 5, 2011.

Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 25, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.053

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/25/2006

Last Name

Shuttlesworth

Maker Category
Schools

Rosedale High School

Wenonah School

Oxmoor Elementary School

Selma University

Cedar Grove Preparatory Academy

First Name

Fred

Birth City, State, Country

Montgomery

HM ID

SHU01

State

Alabama

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/18/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

USA

Death Date

10/5/2011

Short Description

Civil rights activist, pastor, and foundation executive Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth (1922 - 2011 ) established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) in 1956, and joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and Bayard Rustin to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1956. In 1966, Shuttlesworth became the pastor of the Greater New Light Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and served as founding director of the Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation.

Employment

First Baptist Church of Selma

Bethel Baptist Church

Revelation Baptist Church

Greater New Light Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Pink, Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:1536,208:79240,1163:89190,1256:102528,1453:134064,1806:162480,1982:163429,2075:169196,2167:191377,2469:226027,3136:228985,3261:231595,3398:258190,3633$0,0:285,42:1520,56:2280,260:60670,837:90580,1161:99028,1262:111499,1451:150116,1939:228498,2574:229770,2614:233881,2838:251030,3154
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393558">Tape: 1 Slating of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393559">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393560">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393561">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his biological father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393562">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his stepfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393563">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes Oxmoor, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393564">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth talks about his father and stepfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393565">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers Oxmoor Elementary School near Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393566">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls St. Matthew A.M.E. Church Oxmoor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393567">Tape: 1 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth talks about early transit in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393568">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers his grandfather's mule, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393569">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers his grandfather's mule, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393570">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his stepfather's bootlegging operations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393571">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his stepfather's treatment of his children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393572">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his parents' relationship, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393573">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his parents' relationship, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393574">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers his stepfather's stature</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393575">Tape: 2 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his teacher at Oxmoor Elementary School, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394135">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his teacher at Oxmoor Elementary School, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394136">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes Rosedale High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394137">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers his stepfather's death</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394138">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his teachers at Rosedale High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394139">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls the white residents of Oxmoor, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394140">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers his arrest for bootlegging</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394141">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his work experiences after high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394142">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls meeting his wife, Ruby Keeler Shuttlesworth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/394143">Tape: 3 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers the early years of his marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393585">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls moving to Mobile, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393586">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his home in Mobile, Alabama, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393587">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his home in Mobile, Alabama, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393588">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers his call to ministry in Mobile, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393589">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls joining the Baptist church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393590">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls speaking at Selma University in Selma, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393591">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his house in Mobile, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393592">Tape: 4 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls attending Selma University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393593">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls preaching at First Baptist Church of Selma, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393594">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls preaching at First Baptist Church of Selma, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393595">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers pastoring First Baptist Church of Selma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393596">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his invitation to pastor Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393597">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his sermons</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393598">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his civil rights activity in Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393599">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his first sermon at Bethel Baptist Church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393600">Tape: 5 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his activism as a preacher</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393601">Tape: 6 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393602">Tape: 6 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth describes his entry to the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393603">Tape: 6 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls the prohibition of the NAACP in Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393604">Tape: 6 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls organizing the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393605">Tape: 6 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers the bombing of his home, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/393606">Tape: 6 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers the bombing of his home, pt. 2</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth recalls his invitation to pastor Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth remembers the bombing of his home, pt. 2
Transcript
So well how did you get the church in Birmingham [Alabama]? How did you--?$$Accident.$$Okay what happened?$$I was getting ready to--I wanted to go to Florida. T.J. Hale [ph.] who was pastor, see the biggest church there, can't think of the name of it. Think of it in a minute. He was going to Florida to preach. D.L. Motley was pastor of the church in Mobile [Alabama] and he had been called to Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham. Look how the incidental, coincidental this is. And T.J. Hale said well--and Motley was somewhere in, one of the churches talking. I said, "Well I want to go to Florida. I want to go to Pensacola [Florida] out there." And he was going that day. He said, well Motley said, "Well I look, I'm called to Bethel Church in Birmingham, and I can't go Sunday so they want me to send somebody. So I'm asking you to go." I said, "Well no I don't go to no church preaching. I'm not interested in it, it's yours. You just tell them." He said "But they want you, they want you to come." They didn't know me. My uncle, wife's [Ruby Keeler Shuttlesworth] uncle lived in Birmingham as you know. But I had never been to Bethel. I didn't know anything about the church. He said, well so Reverend Hale said, "Well look, I'm going to Florida again in two or three months and you can go down there and be preaching and be heard if you want to." And I go then, so that made me say, Motley said, "Well fool, you can get you some grits, you know." You know and I didn't have no church. And four children now, see. I said, "Well I'll go, but I ain't going up there but one time and preach for you." So I went up and preached at Bethel that Sunday morning. And boy it was like cheerleading segment. People just took, I got--I didn't preach about twenty-five, thirty minutes that time. And they said, "Get that man's address. We want him. We want this man to preach." We, well someone was saying, "If we heard this man, we never would have called that--." And this is embarrassing to me, just to go and preach you know. And I'm making it sure in my mind I wouldn't come back again. And so that week Motley called, "They say they want you back at Bethel next." I said, "I ain't coming, I ain't going back, I told you the first time I wasn't coming back." I said, "I don't play with the church." I wasn't, I wasn't gonna to--he said, "Well no, I just can't go Sunday." I said, "But Motley ain't no use in us lying to each other, we're friends. You gonna need--," I said, "I am not interested in that church." He said, "Well I got to do something else and I, I would be telling them that I would come back that next--." I said, "Well if you let me tell them you coming next Thursday, I'll go tell, go then." So I went back and preached. And boy it, they just took--it was just like your hands going in the glove, tremendous. So I told them he was coming that Thursday night. I say, "He said he'd be here to see y'all Thursday night." That Thursday night it rained. You ever see in the day time when it rain so bad, get dark and cloudy and you can't, you can't even see the road hardly to drive, see cars pulling over. Well that night, that Thursday afternoon, that night he was supposed to be there, it was like that. It was pouring down rain. But they unanimously met out there and called me and didn't know me. It had to be God or somebody and look at the work I've done in--and that church was bombed twice while I was there. I told them, I said if I stay here, it might get bombed again. So that, that had to be God. So God moves in human affairs once in a while. Go ahead.$What--do you remember? Well just tell us what else you remember about what happened that night. You were, you were talking to one of the deacons.$$He was talking to me, he was sitting by my bed. I had a mirror near 'bout, not quite wide as that thing. And that bomb went off. I knew what, I knew it was meant for me like I'm looking at you again. I mean directly. I knew I wouldn't get hurt. How did I know? I was comforted. I knew I wasn't gonna get hurt. I was not afraid of dying. In fact I felt better. I don't think any baby ever felt as comfortable or even more comfortable at his mother's breast. As to what was on my mind at the time the bomb went off, was this 27 Psalm, "The Lord is my light and my salvation" [Psalm 27:1]. I knew it was a bomb. I knew I wouldn't get hurt. I was not afraid of dying. I could understand that God was there. And look like I just, I could discern my conscience, look I'm here. And so I never felt better. So this, this wall was flew--blown out from under the bed, the springs was shattered. We didn't find any large pieces of fingers (unclear), these three fingers--springs I'm talking about. The wall between my head and the dynamite was blown away at least to the corner of that thing there like that. That--course my teeth was sitting on the, on the floor.$$You're talking about, about ten, fifteen feet away, right?$$Yeah, yeah, right. And that mirror was shattered I guess into a million pieces (unclear). He got two, two or three little pin pricks in his head. Didn't no blood run. He was stunned I think. He said the Lord saved me because I was with you. I said that he did Charlie, Charlie Robinson [Charles Robinson] was his name.$$Sully Robinson?$$Charlie, Charlie.$$Charlie, okay.$$Charlie, Charles Robinson. Floor was blown out from under the bed. Part of the floor was arced up into a little open face. (Unclear) put the heat out, the wall, the center wall of the house now, was like this. It was about thirty something degrees. Not standing straight up. About three or four hundred slithers of wood from that wall behind my head was stuck into that wall, into a coat and hat I had on that wall. And we, when we found the head of the bed where my, my head--I'm in bed. But a, a shaft of wood had come through that head of my bed and probably traveled a little further than, might have been driven into my brain where I was lying.$$This is incredible. I mean, I mean that--$$God's more than incredible. That's what I'm says, that's why he can handle incredible things (laughter). That, tomorrow, all this. I have no, I have problem telling you.$$So I mean, so this is fully documented. You walked away from a bombing.$$Yes sir.$$When things all around you were destroyed.$$Absolutely.$$And you led a march the next day, right?$$Like I said I would, um-hm. I never say I'm gonna do something I don't do.$$So were, were you stunned at all by any of this, or did you--$$(Shakes head) Never felt better. Never had a, felt a little (unclear) fire he can't put out. He say I got a bump. I said that's a writer's bump, I never had any bump. Not even a scratch.