In 1963, I was eleven. I lived in Central City, a housing project in downtown Birmingham, with my mother. This project was all white. The demonstrations were to us an inconvenience. We couldn’t spend Saturday at Woolworths, Kress’ or the other downtown stores. I couldn’t go to the Alabama Theater. I was a member of the “Flying G Club.” This was started by Guaranty Savings and Loan. If you deposited at least twenty-five cents in a savings account you got a ticket to the Alabama Theater to see a morning program that included a show.
Yet one routine stayed, going grocery shopping with my mother on Thursdays. We went to the A &P store on 8th Avenue and 18th Street. We had a small buggy we would roll on the route from our apartment at 6th Terrace between 22nd and 23rd streets to the store. I remember walking by a helmeted National Guard solider with a weapon (a rifle, I think) posted on the corner of 8th Avenue and 19th Street. (more…)