On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights was founded

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights was founded
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964. (Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office, Wikipedia)

June 5, 1956

Following a court decision that banned the NAACP from operating within Alabama, a group of African American ministers in Birmingham, led by the Rev. Fred Lee Shuttlesworth, held a mass meeting at Sardis Baptist Church and founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR). The charismatic Shuttlesworth was elected president, and the organization began a series of weekly mass gatherings with the goal of devising ways to push for racial integration. Over the next seven years, Shuttlesworth and the ACMHR were a force for equal rights, persuading the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to bring his Southern Christian Leadership Conference to the city for joint protests in 1963. Their combined effort, among other events, led to a negotiated agreement with new city leadership and business leaders to desegregate local commerce and public places. It also moved the nation a step closer toward passage by Congress of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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