Birmingham and the Long Black Freedom Struggle by Robert W. Widell Jr.

By Robert W. Widell Jr.

Birmingham, Alabama looms huge within the background of the twentieth-century black freedom fight, yet up to now historians have in most cases missed the years after 1963. right here, writer Robert Widell explores the evolution of Birmingham black activism into the Nineteen Seventies, supplying a important neighborhood viewpoint at the "long" black freedom fight.

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Sample text

Citing another recent employment suit, Dent v. St. 3 It would not be until 1971 that the initial testimony in the case was heard. 4 The case was sufficiently circuitous that, in 1974, Justice Tuttle of the Fifth Circuit was already lamenting the long and complex opinion that its drawn-out history necessitated. , and U. W. Clemon must have anticipated a long road when they received word that the ACIPCO case was placed on the docket of Judge Seybourne Lynne. 7 Such was Lynne’s reputation that black activists filed a second suit in the hopes that it would be placed on the docket of a different judge.

2 In fact, Eagan’s commitment to morality went beyond the provision of such services to include a series of strict rules regarding employee behavior, including a prohibition on the use of alcohol. 3 Such practices continued to be a hallmark of ACIPCO’s management style throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. In the 1950s, the company would utilize its health care provisions as a substitute for pay raises. ”4 A 2003 series in the New York Times about corporate 18 BIRMINGHAM AND LONG BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLE malfeasance contrasted the extensive safety and environmental hazards at one of ACIPCO’s crosstown rivals, McWane Pipe, with conditions at ACIPCO.

13 In 1964 ACIPCO eliminated this difference in hiring requirement between blacks and whites. In addition, the company instituted a testing procedure for employees seeking advancement to higher paying or supervisory positions. 14 On the surface such requirements seemed to equalize the treatment of black and white employees, but in reality they allowed the company to preserve the racially separate character of the workforce without maintaining an explicit policy of segregation in hiring and promotion.

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