One thing I look forward to each year is seeing people share their Top Nine on Instagram. On the last day of a year where so much has happened, we want to take some time to look back at our own top nine and reflect on some of the year’s most defining moments.
1. Watching the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Railroad Park come to life
In just two days’ time back in June, local artists, activists and volunteers joined forces to create a Black Lives Matter mural in Birmingham. It was completed just in time for Juneteenth, a national holiday celebrated on June 19th which marks the day that Union soldiers arrived in Texas to tell enslaved people they were free—2.5 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
2. Remembering the Birmingham Pledge
Some of the year’s most pivotal moments were the Black Lives Matter protests that took place at the end of May. Sparked by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and more, people across the world protested police violence against Black people.
We shared this post after the protests in Birmingham on May 31 to remember the Birmingham Pledge, and to stand in solidarity with those calling for equality in our city.
3. Showcasing the talented artists who created these murals honoring George Floyd + reminding us to be #BhamStrong
Soon after the protests, murals started popping up around the city. We shared one honoring George Floyd, by local artist Shane B., in front of Wheelhouse Salon downtown, and another on Morris Ave. created in collaboration by basic. and Honeycreeper Chocolate. Both shared a much-needed reminder: that we’re #BhamStrong.
4. Highlighting Black-owned businesses in Birmingham
Another important outcome from the Black Lives Matter protests was the need to uplift Black voices and businesses across the globe. Birmingham is brimming with talented Black entrepreneurs, artists, chefs, and business owners. This post highlights some of them in our city. Also, the article we wrote on Black-owned restaurants was the single-most read piece of 2020.
5. Sharing Carraway Hospital’s $340M development plans
More recently, we shared the exciting news for the redevelopment of the Caraway Hospital site. The est. $340M mixed-use development is expected to include single-family and multi-family residential, hotel, retail, office and entertainment facilities. Look out for more updates coming in 2021.
6. Watching the Regions Building light up for Christmas
A moment we look forward to each year is seeing the Regions Building in downtown Birmingham light up for Christmas. This year, seeing the festive lights brought us a much-needed dose of comfort and nostalgia, and made our city feel just a bit brighter.
7. Breaking news on the Black Lives Matter Mural
Our top post of the year was the completion of the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Railroad Park, so it makes sense that the initial announcement of the project would make the list as well. This post shared what was in store, as well as a photo of the mural in Washington D.C. that inspired the project.
8. UAB receiving the COVID vaccine
A defining moment of 2020 was the day UAB received the much-anticipated Pfizer vaccine. At the time of this post, 40,950 doses had been distributed across Alabama. Stay tuned into 2021 for more updates on vaccine shipments to our state.
9. Seeing the rainbow lights under the 59/20 bridge
And finally, our ninth top post was the first video we captured of the lights under the 59/20 bridge. The bridge now lights up each night, so if you haven’t driven over to see them in person yet, definitely add that to your 2021 Birmingham bucket list.
It’s impossible to encapsulate all of the defining moments of 2020 in just nine posts.
Check out these stories for more of the year’s most memorable moments, from closures that broke our hearts to the heroes of 2020:
- Not all heroes wear capes, but they sure were super in 2020
- Our hearts broke to say goodbye to 15 local spots that closed in 2020
- This beautiful local film will end your 2020 on just the right note
- Here are the top 15 most popular Bham Now stories of 2020