Amos Charles Townsend

Amos Charles Townsend

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and attended Lincoln Elementary School from 1958 to 1966. I attended Parker High School from 1966 to 1968, and September 1969 until May 1970.  I attended Ramsay High School from September 1968 until May 1969 under the George Wallace “Freedom of Choice” program to allow you to attend any school you wanted to as long as you could get there on your own, to be able to make the claim schools were integrated although they would do no busing to achieve integration.  I received my B.S. and M.A. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  I am a retired Senior Executive from the Federal government.

Hatred eliminated the only “sanctuary” in my life

As a child in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, I was witness to the turmoil in the community around the Civil Rights Movement. We had, of necessity, become more aware of hatred based on race way beyond the recognition of the grinding heel of racism we had faced all our lives. The expression of racism that kept us from being able to go to enjoy the rides of Fair Park at the State Fairgrounds in Birmingham or try on clothes at a department store or kept us drinking from a separate water fountain or attending segregated schools was something we knew. We knew the fear of seeing Bull Connor riding around in that white tank ordering us off the streets after the times they bombed Attorney Arthur Shores’ home on Center Street. We had felt the blasts in our homes during the night. (more…)