Charles Cecil Guyton

Charles Cecil Guyton

I was born on October 20th, 1954, at Holy Family Hospital. At the time my family lived in Cleveland, Ohio. But by the end of that year, my parents would divorce and my mother would move my sister and me back to Birmingham. I grew up in the Titusville Neighborhood and attended Center Street Elementary. I graduated from West End High School and attended Alabama State University. I currently live in the Chicago area where I operate a Black Car Service.

[The Kids in Birmingham 1963 community mourns the passing of Charles Cecil Guyton in March 2024. We are grateful to Cecil for his contributions to Kids. We cherish the time we had with him and will hold our memories of him dear for years to come.]

On that day, my childhood came to an end

I was born in Birmingham in 1954. My family lived in the Titusville neighborhood and I attended Center Street Elementary. My family were members of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church. My family was also very involved in the Civil Rights Movement. My uncle, Bernard H. Williams, had attended Morehouse College with Dr. King and they were Frat Brothers. My mother and grandmother were very close friends of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a Birmingham pastor who had taken many brave actions to push for changes in the Jim Crow laws. Many of the people in this group were and still are very close friends.

I remember 1963 vividly, mainly because of how violent it was, but also because of the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church. Denise McNair, one of the girls who was killed, was one of my playmates, and we attended the same school at the time.