Wells Fargo unveils Freedom Riders mural at historic downtown Birmingham site [PHOTOS]

Wells Fargo
Unveiling of the new Wells Fargo Branch Freedom Riders Mural on May 4, 2022. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Wells Fargo unveiled a new mural today in downtown Birmingham to commemorate the anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

Catherine Burks-Brooks, an original Freedom Rider, joined community leaders and Wells Fargo to unveil the new mural which recognizes the historic event that occurred at the site of the Wells Fargo’s Motor Tower branch (1901 6th Ave. North, 35203). 

Site of the Trailways Depot

Well Fargo
Unveiling of the new Wells Fargo Branch Freedom Riders Mural on May 4, 2022. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Stationed at the historic site of the Trailways bus depot, the Wells Fargo branch is the former site of the Trailways Depot.  On May 14, 1961, Freedom Riders, a group of civil rights activists who traveled across the southern United States challenging segregation in bus terminals, restrooms, and restaurants were met by a mob and violently attacked. The mural design pays tribute to the courage of the Freedom Riders, who non-violently fought injustice that day in downtown Birmingham.

“It’s good to know that the city is acknowledging its past. It also shows that there’s been great changes since that time and I applaud it. I’ve learned that people change and cities change. I think the city should pat itself on the back, because I think they have made a tremendous turn for the right. I think history will look kindly upon the Birmingham that we see today.” ~ Charles Person, a Freedom Rider, who was beaten at the Trailways Depot on May 14, 1961 – which is now the site of the Wells Fargo Branch and new mural.

The mural is the 2nd Wells Fargo panorama in the Magic City honoring the Civil Rights Movement. The first one is located at the UAB Wells Fargo Branch at 316 18th Avenue South, 35233.

Wells Fargo on 3rd Avenue South (Bham Now)

Freedom Riders

Photos of  Freedom Riders, Burks-Brooks, Person and Hank Thomas as college students who left their campuses to join this campaign for equality are featured in the mural.  

Along with the mural there is a plaque with a QR code, which connects visitors to a video about the Freedom Rides.

Are you going to visit the Wells Fargo Mural?  If you go – tag us on social media @bhamnow with a picture of Birmingham’s newest mural.

Pat Byington
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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