See the “Shuttlesworth” documentary at Birmingham-Southern College, Feb. 22

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A photograph of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, subject of the new Shuttlesworth documentary. (Shuttlesworth)
A photograph of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, subject of the new Shuttlesworth documentary. (Alabama Public Television)

On Wednesday, February 22nd, Birmingham-Southern College will host a screening of the acclaimed Alabama Public Television documentary Shuttlesworth. The screening—which is free and open to current students, alumni and the public—will be followed by an exclusive discussion with the co-producers of the documentary.

Keep reading to learn more about the Shuttlesworth documentary and the screening at Birmingham-Southern College.

Shuttlesworth: an Alabama Public Television documentary

Shuttlesworth is an original documentary presented by Alabama Public Television detailing the life of iconic Birmingham civil rights leader Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. Shuttlesworth follows Rev. Shuttlesworth’s life, beginning with his segregated upbringing in Oxmoor Valley through his advocacy with Bethel Baptist Church, the Birmingham Campaign and beyond.

“This documentary is important on so many levels. Shuttlesworth is sometimes either overlooked or relegated to the background of our Civil Rights history. However, as shown in the film, his presence and work in Birmingham helped to bring the movement to extraordinary heights and made it notable in our nation’s history. The documentary demonstrates the long fight of African Americans for equal rights and to challenge racial discrimination and white supremacy, while tackling the hard subject of resistance to civil rights and the violence that came with it. Finally, the film illustrates the value of Birmingham and the College Hills community in the campaign for racial equality. While the city is frequently noted for the resistance to civil rights, it should be celebrated for its community members—such as Shuttlesworth—who never backed down in the face of great adversity.”

Dr. Victoria Ott, James A. Wood Professor of American History, Birmingham-Southern College
Mural
An Avondale mural depicting Rev. Shuttlesworth, Sun-Ra, Angela Davis and Spider Martin. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

The Black History Month screening is sponsored by the student-led Cross Cultural Committee, Distinction in Black Studies, the History Department and Media and Film Studies at Birmingham-Southern College.

“After I saw the documentary when it premiered in December, I thought it was important to bring it to BSC. The film highlights the importance of the College Hills community, which is in our very own backyard. Birmingham-Southern College also has historical connections to the Civil Rights Movement in the metro area, especially through the work of BSC graduate and distinguished alum Dr. Robert Corley. It just seemed natural to bring the film to our campus.”

Dr. Victoria Ott, James A. Wood Professor of American History, Birmingham-Southern College
(Birmingham-Southern College)
Students and guests in the North Theatre at Birmingham-Southern College. (Birmingham-Southern College)

The documentary features insight from a variety of experts, family members and community leaders including:

  • Mayor Randall Woodfin
  • Former Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr.
  • Dr. Martha Bouyer
  • Judge U.W. Clemon
  • Dr. Andrew M. Manis
  • Fred Shuttlesworth, Jr.
  • Ruby Shuttlesworth Bester
  • Patricia Shuttlesworth Massengill
  • Dr. Robert Corley
  • Dr. Carolyn Shuttlesworth
  • Carolyn McKinstry
  • Dr. Sephira Bailey Shuttlesworth
  • Rev. Carter Gaston
  • Diane McWhorter
  • Janice Kelsey
  • Jefferson Drew
  • Shelley Stewart
  • Bishop Calvin Woods
  • Odessa Woolfolk

Meet Co-Producers T. Marie King and J. Hardy Whitson

Following the screening, you can have the opportunity to discuss Shuttlesworth with co-producers T. Marie King and J. Whitson.

T. Marie King — A native of Birmingham, T. Marie King is a racial justice and equity activist, a producer and director of Youth Pathways and Experiences with the Jones Valley Teaching Farm. Shuttlesworth is her first full-length documentary.

J. Whitson — Lifelong Birmingham resident J. Whitson is an Emmy Award-winning senior producer with Alabama Public Television, where he has worked for 18 years.

“Hearing from T. Marie King and J Whitson will bring valuable insight into what went into making the film, such as obstacles, highlights, etc. The producers can lend a better understanding of the people featured in the documentary and what it was like learning their stories. Personally, I’m interested in learning what drove the producers to tell Shuttlesworth’s story. What can we learn about his past that will help us today? This will be an interactive discussion, so the audience is encouraged to bring their own questions to the table.”

Dr. Victoria Ott, James A. Wood Professor of American History, Birmingham-Southern College

In addition, the panel will feature Dr. Robert Corley — a 1970 graduate of Birmingham-Southern College who was a member of the task force that created the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) and a founding member of the BCRI Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. 

Catch “Shuttlesworth” at Birmingham-Southern College

Planning to see Shuttlesworth at Birmingham-Southern College on February 22nd? Tag @birminghamsouthern to let them know!

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer + Photographer

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