Jews and the Civil Rights Era: Birmingham (II &III)

Part II

16th Street Baptist Church from the BCRI

If there were a pilgrimage essential to the American experience, Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Birmingham, Alabama would be it. Disney after a Superbowl is nice and all, and St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago sounds, well, however it is that sounds, but if we’re talking about places and events that define pride in place and heritage, that American optimism we all seek, if you’re looking for life in the places you only thought of as confined to history books and tearjerk-films, and if we’re going to be facing truths that are hard as the weathered faces looking out at the high school marching bands from the steps of 16th Street Baptist Church, you have to be in Birmingham.

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