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Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975

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Kimberley Mangun

This cultural biography tells the story of Birmingham World editor Emory O. Jackson. During his 35-year career in Alabama, he waged numerous sustained civil-rights campaigns for the franchise, equal educational opportunities, and justice for the victims of police brutality and bombings. The semiweekly newspaper was central to his advocacy. Jackson wrote editorials and columns that documented injustices and urged legislative and legal action in an effort to secure civil rights for Black Alabamians. His body of work, grounded in protest and passion, was part of the long tradition of the Black Press as an instrument to agitate for social and political change. Jackson also was a frequent speaker at NAACP branches, colleges, and churches. He was known as a commanding, even fiery, speaker who stressed first-class citizenship. Issues explored in the book demonstrate an assertion of constitutional rights in post-World War II America and a remarkable resilience. Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975 is the first scholarly analysis of his work and as such contributes to scholarship on the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama and the nation.

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Postscript

Extract



Montgomery was again newsworthy in 2018.

In January, the New York Times Travel section presented its annual list of 52 Places to Go during the year. Locales on and off the beaten path were selected from hundreds of ideas submitted by the section’s regular contributors. Montgomery, at No. 49, just made the list behind the Ribera del Duero region of Spain and ahead of the German-speaking Südtirol area of Italy.1

The Times revisited Montgomery in May, this time for its regular travel feature “36 Hours.” The itinerary suggested indulging in local treats, like fried green tomatoes and biscuits, and exploring sites including the Rosa Parks Museum and the renovated 1929 S. H. Kress & Co. building. Now known as Kress on Dexter, the lobby displays two oversized rectangles of marble engraved with the words “colored” and “white.” The formidable slabs backed the store’s segregated water fountains and illustrate one measure of Jim Crow in Alabama’s capital city.2

Kress on Dexter features apartments and businesses, among them one called More Than Tours that is operated by Michelle Browder. Her aunt, Aurelia Browder, was lead plaintiff in the civil-action lawsuit in 1956 that challenged bus segregation laws in the City of Montgomery and Alabama. It was the Supreme Court decision in Browder v. Gayle that ended the bus boycott on December 20.3 ← 109 | 110 →

Steps away from Kress is a sign marking the stop where Rosa Parks waited on December 1,...

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