Nation's Only Civil Rights Radio Talk Show Debuts Jan. 1 in Birmingham, Alabama
Lady B.J. Love King, Jailed as a Child in the Birmingham Movement, and Sephira Shuttlesworth, Activist Educator and Widow of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Team to Create Radio Show Dedicated to the American Civil Rights Legacy.
- Birmingham, AL (1888PressRelease) December 31, 2011 - "From the Mountain 2 The Valley Civil Rights Trail Radio Broadcast" - the only national call-in talk show devoted exclusively to the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama, and beyond - will hit the airwaves live on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. The show will air Sundays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on WJLD-AM Radio 1400 in Birmingham, the cradle of the modern Civil Rights Movement.
From the Mountain 2 The Valley is the brainchild of B.J. Love King, whose family was actively involved in the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement under the dynamic leadership of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth in the '50s and '60s. Rev. Shuttlesworth organized her father, Rev. Floyd King Sr., and other Birmingham ministers. They galvanized ordinary men, women and children from their churches in a sustained, non-violent struggle to liberate themselves from racial oppression and gain equal rights for African American citizens.
Ms. King and her siblings were among the Birmingham children leaders inspired by these leaders to play an active role in the Movement. They were arrested and jailed in protests, and were among the first to integrate then all-white public schools. It was the children, she says, who made the difference.
She said the new show is a clarion call to the mothers and the fathers, the grandmothers and the grandfathers, who were once children in the Movement.
"We must come together and inspire the 'NOW Generation,' and help our youth and young adults understand all that it took to overcome obstacles such as racial prejudice, segregation, degradation, and more during the struggle," Ms. King says. "We want to highlight and spotlight those who made the difference in the community. We will explore the timeline and reveal what happened so many years ago. We want to take a look at how they worked it out, and see what steps they took to help our people gain dignity and respect."
Ms. King invited Sephira Shuttlesworth to co-host From the Mountain 2 the Valley radio talk show because of her late husband's contributions to the local and national movement, and because of her own involvement in advancing civil and human rights.
Mrs. Shuttlesworth and two of her six siblings were also among the first black students to integrate an all-white school in her native Jackson, TN. She received a certificate in peace education training from the University of Cincinnati. She is founder of The Fred Shuttlesworth Foundation in Birmingham and is a frequent speaker on civil rights issues.
Mrs. Shuttlesworth says her goal is to ensure that her husband's legacy in the Movement is accurately written in history books and passed down to future generations. She plans to develop lesson plans for state and local schools to make sure civil rights curricula are well developed and the Movement's historical values are properly taught. The 23-year veteran educator taught in the Cincinnati public school system, and has run several charter schools.
Her husband, who died Oct. 5 at age 89, shared his many experiences in the Movement with his family and the public, holding audiences captive with his eye-witness testimony and his own exploits in world-changing civil rights events. Mrs. Shuttlesworth said it's very important that people who also actively took part in the Movement tell and write their own stories, and pass them down to their own children and grandchildren.
"Nobody can tell your story like you can tell your story," she says. "And who's to say what truth is in these books today? If we don't know, understand and learn from our history, we're destined to repeat the mistakes of the past in future generations."
Future guests on the show will include Movement participants, their children, civil rights lawyers and renowned historians who will discuss the civil rights role of Birmingham and other cities. The show will also explore how the Movement's history can apply to current issues facing the African American community and the world at large.
Those who wish to call in to "From the Mountain 2 The Valley Civil Rights Radio Broadcast" live on Sundays can call (205) 741-9553, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Contact the show's host and producer Lady B.J. Love King at (205) 602-2730.
More information about the Fred Shuttlesworth Foundation can be found online, /www.fredshuttlesworthfoundation.org/.