BCRI Oral History Project

The collection contains over 600 interviews housed on VHS and MiniDV tapes and is still growing (on digital now!).

Digitization began in 2019 and this site launched January 2020. Digitized interviews will be added to the site as they are processed, so continue to check back.


Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson discusses accepting the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award and his work with the Equal Justice Initiative in the state of Alabama,…

LaVerne Revis Martin

LaVerne Revis Martin discusses her involvement in the Movement with her family. She witnessed bombings, attended mass meetings and demonstrated alongside key…

Mary Streeter Perry

Mary E. Streeter Perry discusses growing up in Birmingham, including attending Booker T. Washington Business College, before getting involved with the Movement.…

Annetta Nunn

Chief Annetta Nunn discusses her path to becoming the first female chief of the Birmingham Police Department.

Annie Pearl Avery

Annie Pearl Avery discusses her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement after returning to Birmingham at the age of 14. From trying to join the Freedom Riders…

Rodney A. Max

Attorney Rodney Max discusses his experiences with prejudice on his path to practicing law in Birmingham. He details his work ACMHR, Reverend Abraham Woods and…

Louphenia Thomas

Louphenia Thomas discusses her experience being the first black woman in the Alabama Legislature and the progression of politics after her term.

Alice Wright

Alice Wright discusses her work with W. E. Shortridge and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.She helped keeps the books and documentation for the…

Dr. Elizabeth Fitts

Dr. Elizabeth Fitts discusses being on the SCLC staff and traveling around the South organizing voter registration. She left college to join the Movement and…

Janice Kelsey

Janice Kelsey discusses her experience participating in the Children's Crusade on May 2, 1963. She outlines the effect that her arrest, and the Movement as…

Lola Hendricks

Lola Hendricks discusses her time serving as the Corresponding Secretary for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in Birmingham. She organized…

Amelia Boynton Robinson

Amelia Boynton Robinson discusses how her activism began while working as a Home Demonstration Agent in Dallas County. She gives a detailed account of Bloody…

Henrietta S. Tripp

Henrietta S. Tripp discusses being the first Black person hired in a clerical position at Birmingham City Hall after growing up in Marion, Alabama. She attended…

Deenie Drew

Deenie Drew discusses leaving New York to work for the Red Cross in Tuskegee. She then moved to Dynamite Hill and joined the movement with her husband, John.…

Patricia Powell Berry

Patricia Powell Berry discusses growing up poor in Birmingham, moving to Nebraska, and ultimately returning to Birmingham. She was heavily involved in voter…

Washington Booker III

Washington Booker III discusses growing up in Loveman's Village, getting involved in the Movement, serving in the Marine Corps and the founding of the Alabama…

David Vann (1995)

David Vann discusses the political climate in Birmingham during the Movement including the role of businesses, the influence of the KKK and his time as United…

Margaret Askew

Margaret Askew discusses being involved with the Movement through ACMHR and her church. She encouraged local youth to get involved and she was arrested multiple…

Kathleen Bunton

Kathleen Bunton discusses growing up working the family farm before getting involved with ACMHR, attending mass meetings, and working on voter registration. Her…

Carolyn Cunningham

Carolyn Cunningham discusses returning to Birmingham and getting involved with the Movement after attending a year of music school in Chicago. She taught in…

Ruth Barefield-Pendleton

Ruth Barefield-Pendleton discusses serving as secretary of the Central Committee of SCLC after growing up and teaching in Birmingham. She also served as…

Dr. Richard Arrington Jr. (2001) (1…

Dr. Richard Arrington Jr. discusses growing up in Birmingham, his educational career, his time on the city council and his early years as Mayor. This interview…

Dr. Richard Arrington Jr. (2001) (2…

Dr. Richard Arrington Jr. discusses the latter part of his career as Mayor of Birmingham including the annexation of additional area, being the subject of an…

Charles Morgan Jr.

Charles Morgan Jr. discusses his legal career, involvement in civil rights cases and his work with the ACLU. He also covers his iWork defending the Democratic…

Colonel Stone Johnson

Colonel Stone Johnson discusses being one of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth's bodyguards, fighting workplace discrimination and serving on many local organizations and…

Margaret Givner Brown

Margaret Givner Brown discusses growing up in Birmingham before getting involved with the Movement as a child. She was arrested at 8 years old for marching.

Eileen Kelley Walbert (1995)

Eileen Kelley Walbert discusses getting involved in the movement after moving to Birmingham as a young adult. She participated in Movement activities, usually…

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery (2000)

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery discusses his extensive involvement in the Movement in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Nashville and Atlanta. He served in closely…

Sheyann Webb Christburg

Sheyann Webb Christburg discusses marching on Bloody Sunday as a seven-year-old. She co-authored the book Selma, Lord, Selma and participated in desegregating…

Rev. Betty Bock

Rev. Betty Bock discusses her path to helping create a desegregated ministry in Birmingham after growing up in Missouri. She worked with community and spiritual…

Cleopatra Goree

Cleopatra Goree discusses being born and raised in Birmingham before getting involved with the Movement as a teacher. She lived in Dynamite Hill, attended mass…

Rev. John Cross

Rev. John Cross discusses serving as an Army Chaplin during World War II in France and Okinowa, then pastoring in Virginia before leading Sixteenth Baptist…

Rev. Joseph Lewis Rogers

Rev. J. L. Rogers discusses being an early organizer of the Movement through his friend, Fred Shuttlesworth. Rogers worked in coal, iron and steel before…

Catherine Burks Brooks

Catherine Burks Brooks discusses getting involved with Movement after attending Tennessee State University. She participated in the Freedom Rides and spent…

Carolyn McKinstry (1998)

Carolyn McKinstry discusses getting involved in the Movement as early as eighth grade by doing clerical work at 16th Street Baptist Church where she saw Dr.…

Rev. Erskine Faush

Rev. Erskine Faush discusses being involved in music and ministry throughout his early years before starting with broadcast radio. His voice, along with…

James Head

James Head discusses his experience as a white businessman trying to combat racial injustice in 1960's Birmingham. He worked with journalists, politicians and…

Rev. Milton Stollenwerck

Rev. Milton Stollenwerck discusses being involved with the Alabama Christian Movement as a teacher in Birmingham. He was a member of 16th Street Baptist Church…

Ruby Odom Cotton

Ruby Odom Cotton discusses her leadership as young lady in the Movement, including the Children's Crusade and two arrests. She went on to become a banker in…

Dorothy Cotton

Dorothy Cotton discusses working with Dr. King to establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta. She continued to work and travel with Dr.…

Rev. Lamar Weaver

Rev. Lamar Weaver discusses getting to know Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth as he got more involved in the Movement. Weaver ran against Bull Connor on an…

Pinkie Shortridge

Pinkie Shortridge discusses working with her husband Bill to bail demonstrators out of jail through the ACMHR. They continued their involvement with the…

Joel S. Boykin Jr.

Joel S. Boykin Jr. discusses participating in the Movement after attending Morehouse and dental school. Dr. Boykin bailed demonstrators out of jail while his…

Nims E. Gay

Nims E. Gay discusses his whole family's involvement in the Movement. Gay and his children attended meetings and demonstrations that included his children being…

Samuel Greenwood (2000)

Samuel Greenwood discusses growing up in Birmingham, serving in World War II and spending much of his life in Chicago. He focused on poetry after retiring from…

Carolyn Beard Wilson

Carolyn Beard Wilson discusses growing up in Sixteenth Street Baptist Church as the Pastor's daughter before attending Miles College and teaching in Birmingham.…

Barbara Cross

Barbara Cross discusses surviving the Sixteenth Street Church Bombing in great detail. Her father, Rev. John Cross Jr., was the pastor at the time.

Reuben Davis, II (March 1996)

Reuben Davis discusses his advocacy for employment equality, which includes serving in the labor union and filing multiple discrimination lawsuits against L&N…

Reuben Davis, II (April 1996)

Reuben Davis II discusses how his work with the labor movement lead to his political career. He served as one term as a Jefferson County Commissioner.

Jessie Shepherd

Jessie Shepherd discusses participating in the Children's Crusade and being arrested at the demonstration. She went on to become a dietitian after going to…

Annetta Streeter Gary

Annetta Streeter Gary discusses participating in the Children's March, being arrested and returning to school and mass meetings upon her release.

Rev. Frank Dukes

Rev. Frank Dukes discusses being a major organizer in the Movement, from facilitating the Selective Buying Campaign to being arrested in the Easter march of…

Herman Dozier

Herman Dozier discusses how refusing to move from a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC lead him to devote his life to the Movement. He worked with SCLC and…

Nettie Flemmon

Nettie Flemmon discusses devoting her life to the Movement in every way. She, her husband and her children coordinated, assisted and demonstrated all around the…

Walter Lee Gadsden

Walter Lee Gadsden discusses growing up and experiencing discrimination in Birmingham before getting involved in the Movement. Mr. Gadsden's likeness and…

Johnnie Cunningham

Johnnie Cunningham describes growing up in Bessemer before getting involved with the Movement. She was firmly committed to selective buying and raising her…

Congressman John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis discusses his extensive work with SNCC during the Movement. He also details his political career that led him to serving in the United…

Walter Wilson III

Walter Wilson III discusses attempting to integrate Phillips High School with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. He continued to volunteer for the Movement before serving…

Ethel Weatherspoon

Ethel Weatherspoon discusses growing up in a big family before getting involved in the Movement. She and her son spent time in jail for demonstrating.

Mamie Brown Mason

Mamie Brown Mason discusses being arrested for sitting in at JJ Newberry's, working in voter registration and singing in the Freedom Choir.

Rev. C.T. Vivian

Reverend CT Vivian discusses his leadership in the Movement through SCLC. He worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma and on the religious aspects…

Rev. Jerry Green

Rev. Jerry Green discusses being a member of the NAACP and then the ACMHR after the NAACP was outlawed. He marched on Bloody Sunday and served as a guard for…

Johnnie L. Smith

Johnnie L. Smith discusses his extensive mining career before getting involved in the Movement. He became an advisor to the ACMHR, including meeting with Bull…

Rev. George Johnson

Rev. George Johnson discusses combating employment discrimination in Birmingham, including by suing the Personnel Board. He continued to participate in the…

Doris B. Thompkins

Doris B. Thompkins discusses growing up on the Southside before getting involved with the Movement. She was a member of the NAACP prior to it being banned and…

Annie Marie Butler

Annie Marie Butler discusses losing her job as a result of being involved with the Movement. Her son attempted to integrate Phillips High School with Rev.…

Judge Charles Nice

Judge Charles Nice discusses his career and his efforts to end segregation in the Alabama State Legislature. He went on to work with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth to…

Rev. Calvin Woods

Reverend Calvin Woods discusses his and his daughters' Movement involvement and subsequent arrests. Rev. Woods organized boycotts, served as a guard and worked…

Daisy Jeffries

Daisy Jeffries discusses avoiding jail despite being very active in the Movement, including coordinating sit-in demonstrations.

George Price

George Price discusses working closely with Dr. King and Reverend Shuttlesworth, including helping to found ACMHR. His work focused largely on labor unions and…

Rosa Washington

Rosa Washington discusses living in ACIPCO and being involved with the NAACP. She worked at the Greyhound station when the Freedom Riders came through.

Audrey Hendricks

Audrey Hendricks discusses spending two weeks in jail at eight years old after being arrested for demonstrating. She then lost her friend, Denise McNair, in the…

Charlotte Billups Jernigan

Charlotte Billups Jernigan discusses being the daughter of Movement leader Rev. Charles Billups. She attended mass meetings, served in the US Army and worked to…

Hattie Felder

Hattie Felder discusses being arrested at the Easter Sunday demonstrations in 1963. She remained active and went on to participate in the Movement Choir.

Carrie Hamilton Lock

Carrie Hamilton Lock discusses getting involved in the Movement by following her parents' example. She attended mass meetings and integrated West End High…

Danella Bryant

Danella Bryant discusses being arrested multiple times while demonstrating as a child. She attended the March on Washington and eventually moved to Los Angeles…

Emma Smith Young

Emma Smith Young discusses participating in the Selma to Montgomery March after being very involved in the Movement in Birmingham. She was arrested during a…

Joe Hendricks

Joe Hendricks discusses being active in the Movement with Rev. Shuttlesworth, the NAACP and the ACMHR. He was arrested during a bus sit-in and helped integrate…

Jheri Hogan

Jheri Hogan discusses spending several days in jail after being arrested at a demonstration. She details how her experiences with racism differed once she moved…

Rev. N. H. Smith

Rev. N. H. Smith discusses being a charter member of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, and later serving as secretary. He was an active…

Floretta Tyson

Floretta Tyson discusses spending nine days in jail as a teenager after being arrested for demonstrating. She was expelled from school and briefly moved to Ohio…

Harvey Henley

Harvey Henley discusses leading the Civil Rights Labor Movement to promote equal employment, including serving at Executive Secretary of the EEOC. He also…

Rev. John Rutland

Rev. John Rutland discusses participating in the movement as Bull Conner's minister, including taking in the Freedom Riders at his church. He and his family…

Rev. Robert Hughes

Rev. Robert Hughes discusses starting the Alabama Council on Human Relations after beginning his career as a Methodist minister.

Almarie Billups

Almarie Billups discusses being deeply involved in the Movement with her husband, Charles Billups. She worked hard balancing supporting her family and…

Annie Levison

Annie Levison discusses being active in the movement, including being jailed for sitting in the front of the bus, before having to stop in order to protect her…

Virginia Volker

Virginia Volker discusses her involvement with the Movement throughout her education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She went on to be actively…

Rev. Abraham Woods Jr.

Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. discusses working in Birmingham before working closely with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth as a vice-president of ACMHR. He drove look out for…

Rev. Clyde Jones

Rev. Clyde Jones discusses combatting discriminatory hiring practices by the Birmingham Police Department through litigation. He was involved with the NAACP…

Emily Thomas Ellis

Emily Thomas Ellis discusses being arrested for participating in a sit-in at Newberry's department store. She was also injured in a large student march in 1963.…

Flora Washington Smith

Flora Washington Smith discusses getting involved with ACMHR from the earliest meetings. She participated in the Selma to Montgomery March, even after spending…

Dr. Horace Huntley

Dr. Horace Huntley discusses advocating for the creation of African American Studies programs at various institutions, including UAB. His civil rights rights…

Jesse Champion Sr.

Jessie Champion Sr. discusses leaving Birmingham after being wrongly convicted of inciting a riot. He became the first Black news reporter for WBRC after…

Jerome "Buddy" Cooper

Jerome "Buddy" Cooper discusses fighting for labor rights as an acting regional attorney for the Wage Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. He…

Dr. James T. Montgomery

Dr. James T. Montgomery discusses supporting the Movement politically, financially and medically. He served as Rev. Shuttlesworth's family physician and treated…

Rev. John T. Porter

Rev. John T. Porter discusses working with Dr. King at Dexter Avenue and Ebenezer Baptist Churches. He was arrested with Nelson Smith, A. D. King as a result of…

Dr. Lawrence Pijeaux (1997)

Dr. Lawrence Pijeaux discusses demonstrating in New Orleans before pursuing a career in arts education. He served at various institutions, including the…

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth (1996)…

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth discusses leading the Birmingham Movement. Part 1 of 5.

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth (1996)…

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth discusses leading the Birmingham Movement. Part 2 of 5.

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth (1996)…

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth discusses leading the Birmingham Movement. Part 3 of 5.

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth (1996)…

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth discusses leading the Birmingham Movement. Part 4 of 5.

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth (1996)…

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth discusses leading the Birmingham Movement. Part 5 of 5.