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everyone talked to me about with gripping emotion and a sense of
pride,” she says.
A lot has changed since 1963. The hard battles have been fought
and the legal issues have been settled. What’s going on now is
what takes place in the heart and mind. There is still a concern for
equality in every facet of life, especially for economic equality.
When the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC), the agency responsible for the enforcement of federal laws
prohibiting employment discrimination, released its statistical data
on fiscal year 2010, filings had reached an all-time high—although
they’ve lessened slightly since that time. And there are now 1,018
hate groups currently active in the United States, as identified by
the Southern Poverty Law Center. Groups such as the KKK, White
Nationalists, Christian Identity, neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, Black
Separatists, Anti-Gay, Border Vigilantes, Racist Skinheads, and others
reveal the continuing existence of intolerance and hate.
BSC President Gen. Charles C. Krulak has spoken openly
about his vision for the college and for Birmingham, which is
moving beyond civil rights to human rights; in fact city leaders
recently proposed starting a human rights commission to prevent
discrimination in employment, housing or accommodation. Gen.
Krulak has encouraged the city to embrace its human rights history.
“It was in this city where a new sense of ‘right’ was born,” he states.
“What happened here in 1963 continues to have a positive impact
across our land, and, in some ways, across the globe. Think of the
freedom—the human rights—experience that could be developed
right here in Birmingham.”
Recently, Gen. Krulak announced the college’s new Diversity
Enrichment Team, which will promote diversity as a strength in
academic excellence (article on page 4). The team is made up of
students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
“The college is truly part of today’s larger society in every way,” says
LaMonte. “BSC has made major progress in the sensitive area of race
relations. It also means that race is a real challenge. It is an often
unspoken, factor in every area of the college’s life. I believe that race
remains one of the most difficult questions for even highly educated,
well-meaning citizens to talk about. The college can be a great
resource to metropolitan Birmingham by setting a worthy example
in its daily life and by providing a ‘safe haven’ where this and other
topics can be explored with candor and dignity.”
Special thanks to BSC Professor Emeritus of History
Dr. William Nicholas, who is publishing an article on
Marti Turnipseed in a forthcoming issue of
academic journal, and to Thomas Webster ’12
who is hoping to soon publish his article “
The Role of Birmingham-Southern College in the Nonviolent
Direct Action Campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement in
Birmingham, AL, 1963.
” Other sources used for this article
include the books
Southern Academic Review
by Jessica Missios ‘99),
by Don Brown ’58,
by BSC archivist Dr. Guy Hubbs, and
from the Hilltop
by Dr. Robert G. Corley ‘70 and former BSC
professor Dr. Samuel N. Stayer.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak
with Birmingham Mayor William Bell
Current students on campus