When I was in the fist grade at Minnie Holman School, The New York Times carried an article titled, “Fear and Hatred Grip Birmingham.”
I didn’t read it. First graders don’t read the paper. But the author, Harrison Salisbury, became one of my heroes. I had no way to know it in my sheltered little world, but those of us growing up in Birmingham were in for the ride of our life. In the years that followed, men like Martin Luther King and Fred Shuttlesworth would lead marches with outrageous demands, like access to restaurants, equal seating on the buses, and education.
They were greeted by police dogs and fire hoses. Freedom Riders were beaten savagely by mobs while the Birmingham police moved on. Even at my young age, I could not be shielded from what was going on — Martin Luther King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail, the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
But this blog isn’t about civil rights. It’s about everything past and present that makes up the town I’ve come to refer to as The City I Love. The leaders. The followers. The churches. The cooks. The parents. The teachers. The librarians. The thousands of individuals from our history, our present and our future.
The places people gather, and what they talk about. The music. The culture. The beer. The stalwarts, heroes, quirks and kooks woven into the city’s fabric.
And the food. My lord, the food.
It’s about the things that make Birmingham what it is.