A Snapshot of Courage for MLK and a Vintage Family Photo of a Man Bravely Spoke Truth to Power
My grandfather once opened his home to a young MLK; he was jailed for it. When he delivered sermons calling for equality, the Birmingham police lined his pews to intimidate. He delivered his message just the same. He kept a secret journal on police bombings of the city’s black upper class, from 1945 to 1955; he unfortunately didn’t have anyone to give the information to. He was a pastor at First Christian Church in downtown Birmingham, across from police headquarters.
“You need to be ridden out of town on a rail,” one congregation member said.
My grandfather was eventually forced to move in 1955. Without my grandfather, the church eventually fled to the suburbs. The old church building was turned into city offices, but eventually knocked down and a parking lot put in its place around 1998.
When Bull Connor threatened him, he told the police commissioner he was doing the Lord’s work and that if he had issues to take it up with the man upstairs.
My dad used to make me, as a boy, interview my grandfather every time we visited. Like most youth, I took for granted his stories. But, wow, I wish I could find those old recordings.
Oh, and he was one handsome dude! ~shared by @drashmancnn