October 7, 1928
Civil rights activist the Rev. Abraham Woods was born Oct. 7, 1928, in Birmingham. He was one of 11 children and graduated from Parker High School before going to Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he befriended a young Martin Luther King Jr. During the 1950s and ’60s, Woods helped to organize protests and challenge Birmingham’s segregation laws and was jailed for five days after leading a sit-in at a downtown department store. Woods oversaw participation from the Southeast for King’s march on Washington in August 1963 and stood behind King during his “I Have a Dream” speech. He served as president of the Birmingham Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and in his later years fought to reopen the investigation into the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing and was instrumental in establishing the Civil Rights Institute. He died in November 2008. After his death, the Birmingham City Council renamed Eighth Avenue North as “Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard.”
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