“Color guards” with no flags

Carl Carter


Intro Text

Dad had color guard duty, but there was no flag.

It was a pretty simple task: You stood around in the front of Woodlawn Baptist Church to make sure nobody of the wrong color wandered in by mistake. Dad let me stay outside with the men. He liked having me around, and maybe he figured I’d learn something.

Color guard was an important job, because colored folks trying to attend a white church were bound to create trouble. We had one try every now and then – not when I was out there, but I heard about it – and they were advised to go worship with their own kind. (more…)

“A Love That Forgives”

Barbara Cross


Intro Text

In June 1962, my family moved to Birmingham, Alabama. My father was called to pastor the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. As a 12-year-old, I felt excited from moving from my birthplace, Richmond, Virginia. to a new city and the opportunity to meet new friends and experience life in a new city. Little did I know that the move to Birmingham would literally change our lives forever.

My father got involved immediately upon our move with the Alabama Christian Human Rights Movement and was asked by their leadership if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., could use the church as a place for civil rights meetings, which I did not realize until many years later. (more…)

Easter Sunday 1963

Katherine Ramage


Intro Text

Recollections of an 11 year old

Daddy asked the session of the church to support his stance that the doors remain open to anyone who wanted to worship within.

On Easter Sunday 1963 my best friend, and “blood sister,” Kathy, and I, with a concealed collection of snacks we had bought on our trip to the drugstore between Sunday school and church, headed up to the balcony as usual. Kathy and I did everything together, and we sat wherever we pleased in church since we were almost twelve. (more…)