Social inequality in Birmingham 1

The city of Birmingham was founded in 1871, and lies within Jefferson County and Shelby County. It is known by various names, “The Magic city,” “Pittsburg of the South” and the “Tragic City” being few of them. Birmingham had witnessed brisk industrialization and also witnessed periods of social, political, and economic inequality. In the 1960s, the local government strategies to sustain racial segregation had disastrous effects. The church bombing attack on September 15, 1963, brought about world criticism.

The death of the four African girls was enough proof of the racial discrimination that Birmingham was facing. The unleash of terror and violence in Birmingham added yet another name to the list, “Bombingham”. This brutal attack was condemned by people throughout the world and led to many developments which in fact played a major role in its prosperity. That was the time when Birmingham was reeling under social and racial discrimination. Though late by almost four decades, the guilty verdict in 2002 brought hope. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 which followed gave equal access to civil participation in Birmingham.

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The electing of Richard Arrington, an African American educator, as the Mayor of Birmingham in 1979 ushered in an epoch of racial harmony and prosperity. When he retired in 1999, Birmingham was deeply pitched on the road to success. Thus Birmingham did suffer great social and racial inequalities but it distanced itself from the past and stepped into a bright future under the leadership of many a capable hands, thus crossing the barriers of social inequalities. Today Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and an international center for health care.
Though Birmingham has done extremely well in various spheres, the efforts to set right a history of pervasive radical inequality persist even today throughout Birmingham. But the social conditions have greatly changed, and definitely, for the better. To quote Martin Luther King Jr. ,”I like to believe the negative extremes of Birmingham’s past will resolve into the positive and utopian extremes of her future; that the sins of a dark yesterday will be redeemed in the achievements of a bright tomorrow. ” REFERENCE www. africanaonline. com

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