The Morgan Project to host “A Time to Speak” book release and civil rights panel on Feb. 23

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Birmingham Alabama
Four Little Girls statue at the entrance of Kelly Ingram Park in front of 16th Street Baptist Church. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

One of the most powerful books written about Birmingham and Civil Rights, “A Time to Speak” by attorney Charles Morgan, Jr., has been republished by University of Alabama Press.

The Morgan Project, a local nonprofit organization named after the author, is hosting a book release and panel discussion about “A Time to Speak” on Wednesday, February 23, 5:00PM at 16th Street Baptist Church.

About the Book

Originally published in 1964, Morgan’s book captures the urgent conflict of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham and the failure of white citizens who did nothing to stop the course of hatred. In a speech after the tragedy to the Young Men’s Business Club (YMBC) the day after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on Sept. 15, 1963, he condemed the city’s’ white middle-class community for being responsible for the murder of the 4 young girls. Months following the speech, he was driven out of town. 

Panel Discussion

Birmingham
16th Street Baptist Church in November 2021. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

The book release panel discussion for the evening of February 23rd at the 16th Street Baptist Church event includes:

  • Lisa McNair, sister of Denise McNair
  • Charles Morgan, III, son of Charles Morgan, Jr.
  • Dr. Carolyn McKinstry, survivor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing
  • Former U.S.Senator Doug Jones, prosecutor of those responsible for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing

Dr. Tondra Loder-Jackson will serve as moderator. 

Birmingham
(Morgan Project)

The Morgan Project

Civil Rights
Entrance at Kelly Ingram Park in the Civil Rights District. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Along with the book release celebration, participants will be given an opportunity to learn about the Morgan Project. 

Here is a description of the new formed non-profit by local attorney Maury Shevin:

“The Morgan Project was born out of Birmingham’s role in the Civil Rights Movement—as documented by Chuck Morgan, Jr. in his seminal book, A Time To Speak; and from our continuing struggles of courage and conflict in seeking a more just world.  The Project is named in honor of Mr. Morgan, a man who spoke truth to power the day after the horrific 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963.  The Morgan Project hopes to facilitate deeper conversations about systemic racism, racial reconciliation, and discrimination.  By advocating for social studies curriculum that tells the truth about Alabama history, TMP hopes to educate the next generation to provide a greater understanding of how slavery, Jim Crow and the Convict Labor System have all shaped Alabama. In the final analysis, there can be no reconciliation, without truth.”

Panel & Reception

civil rights
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Bham Now)

The February 23rd event begins at 5:00pm and  is free and open to the public. A reception will immediately follow, across the street at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, where people may purchase a copy of A Time to Speak.

To learn more and donate to The Morgan Project, please visit https://www.morganproject.org/.

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Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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