Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth While some may find it difficult to keep calm even during a Super Bowl match, Fred Shuttlesworth maintained his composure when he and his family were beaten with chains and suffered countless death threats. Fred Shuttlesworth played a big role in making America more equal today. Fred Shuttlesworth was born on March 18, 1922 in Mount Meigs, Alabama. Shuttlesworth will always be remembered for leading nonviolent protests.
Reverend Shuttlesworth is a hero who peacefully ended segregation as we know it in one of the most racist cities in the United States. The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights is an organization formed by 1,000 African American men in Alford’s Sordis Baptist Church in 1956. Before the ACMHR was founded, Fred Shuttlesworth and a few other pastors had met up and created a group of “free and independent citizens of the U. S. A. and of the state of Alabama” (Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights).
Fred Shuttlesworth’s group came together and drafted a “Declaration of Principles”. One of the principles in the Declaration stated, “we believe in State’s rights; but we believe that any first RIGHTS are Human Rights: and the first right of a state is to protect Human Rights, and to guarantee to each of its citizens the same Rights and Privileges” (Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights). ACMHR set out to end segregation in Birmingham by protesting nonviolently.
After Fred’s unsuccessful protest with the National Association for the Advancement of colored people he continued his nonviolent campaign with ACMHR and petitioned the city of Birmingham to end segregation on public buses. November 13, 1956 was the date when bus segregation in Birmingham became illegal. The ACMHR immediately put the new law to practice. After tasting his first victory with the buses, Shuttlesworth and the ACMHR wanted to take things further. Shuttlesworth called Martin Luther King JR. nd gathered several other church leaders to come march in Birmingham in 1957. MLK JR. was also a civil rights leader who supported the idea of protesting nonviolently. The SCLC’s foremost objective was to help organizations work toward achieving equality between blacks and whites through nonviolence. The SCLC entered its campaign with a slogan, “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed. ” With MLK JR. and Shuttlesworth, along with other men, the SCLC came up with techniques to protest nonviolently for their rights. They fought for the civil rights of lacks, rights to vote, and labor rights. The Birmingham campaign marked a turning point for both the ACMHR and the SCLC by raising the awareness to more of a national level. Birmingham was considered one of the most racially divided cities in the United States. Shuttlesworth was in charge of ACMHR and helped MLK JR. with the SCLC. He worked hard to get more people involved in the campaign. The SCLC was involved in a campaign before the Birmingham March, but failed in trying to achieve their goal, which was to end segregation throughout the country.
Taking that into consideration, the SCLC set up a new goal in Birmingham which was to end segregation in the downtown business district. Shuttlesworth came up with Project C which was created to attract the media’s attention by protesting using nonviolent acts, such as marching, in order to earn rights for the black people. There was a price the blacks had to pay, but in the end, everything turned out well. When people think of the civil rights movement, it seems the only name they think of is MLK JR. Shuttlesworth had shown as much devotion as MLK JR. but his achievements towards making the world more integrated were not as recognized. Not many of us can boast standing up for rights of anything let alone rights for people of all colors. He is a man we all should look up to. Few will stand up to protest, but Shuttlesworth did. No matter what happened, Shuttlesworth never acted violently, even when he was driving his family to the emergency room. MLK JR. once stated that Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth was the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South.
Fred Shuttlesworth was a courageous nonviolent civil rights leader who we all should remember. Works Cited “Birmingham Campaign”. Wikipedia. 13 Apr. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, inc. 15 Apr. 2013 <http://en. wikipedia. org/article/Birmingham_Campaign> “Southern Christian Leadership Conference”. Wikipedia. 13 Apr. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, inc. 15 Apr. 2013 <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Southern_Christian_Leadership_Conference> “Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights”. Wikipedia. 4 Feb. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, inc. 15 Apr. 2013 <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/ACMHR>