Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Behind the Songs: Talking Birmingham Jam

"Some say they've passed their darkest hour
Those moderates are back in power
They'll listen close with open ears
They'll help us out in a couple of hundred years"
--Phil Ochs, "Talking Birmingham Jam" (1963)

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama - The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution

"The year of Birmingham," 1963, was a cataclysmic turning point in America's long civil rights struggle. Child demonstrators faced down police dogs and fire hoses in huge nonviolent marches for desegregation. Ku Klux Klansmen retaliated by bombing the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, killing four young black girls. Diane McWhorter, daughter of a prominent Birmingham family, weaves together police and FBI documents, interviews with black activists and former Klansmen, and personal memories into an extraordinary narrative of the personalities and events that brought about America's second emancipation.

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