- NAME: Fred Shuttlesworth
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, Minister
- BIRTH DATE: March 18, 1922
- DEATH DATE: October 05, 2011
- EDUCATION: Selma University, Alabama State College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Mount Meigs, Alabama
- PLACE OF DEATH: Birmingham, Alabama
- Full Name: Freddie Lee Shuttlesworth
- Originally: Freddie Lee Robinson
- AKA: Fred Shuttlesworth
- Nickname: Wild Man From Birmingham
- AKA: Fred L. Shuttlesworth
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Fred Shuttlesworth was a Baptist Minister who was one of the top leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, working with Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC.
Children’s Crusade of 1963 (4:12)
Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth was one of the South's most prominent Civil Rights leaders. He worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., co-founded the SCLC and refused to waver even after he was brutally attacked.
From May 2 to May 5, 1963, thousands of children left their schools in Birmingham, Alabama, to march for civil rights. Police officers responded by using water cannons and dogs to attack and then arrest the children.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is widely considered the most influential leader of the American civil rights movement. He fought to overturn Jim Crow segregation laws and eliminate social and economic differences between blacks and whites.
Watch a short video about Martin Luther King, Jr. to learn how this advocate for peace and equality inherited his name from his father.
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Fast forward to the 1980s, and he founded another organization, the Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation, providing grants for home ownership.
In the new millennium, Shuttlesworth received the Presidential Citizens Medal from Bill Clinton in 2001, with the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport named in his honor in 2008. Shuttlesworth also became president of the SCLC mid-decade,
though he soon left due to disagreements with the internal workings of the organization.
In 2007, Fred Shuttlesworth moved back to Birmingham, where died on October 5, 2011, at 89 years old. The minister at one point had thought he wouldn't live to see 40, dwelling in the Deep South during tumult. He was survived by Sephira Bailey, his second wife, and a large family. An award-winning 1999 biography on Shuttlesworth—A Fire You Can't Put Out—was penned by Andrew M. Manis.
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Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BRCI), a museum, research center and teaching facility in Birmingham, Alabama. BRCI is dedicated to documenting the American Civil Rights Movement, and promoting civil and human rights worldwide through education.
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