GOOD

Five Things You Should Know About Fred Shuttlesworth

A lesser known civil rights icon passed today. Read this to find out what made him so important.


When legendary civil rights activist Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth died today, many Americans had no idea who he was or what he'd accomplished in his 89 years on earth. It's an unfortunate reality that people often think Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were the beginning and end of black activism in the Civil Rights era. In fact, nothing could be more wrong. From the 1950s onward, Shuttlesworth was a major factor in ending Jim Crow laws in the South, not to mention many other oppressive forces throughout the United States. Here are the top five things you should know about him.

1. From the start of his career, Shuttlesworth, who was raised poor in Alabama, was fiery and obstinate. After Alabama officially banned the NAACP from operating within the state in 1956, Shuttlesworth, then a pastor, founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. The ACMHR's first major order of business was a Birmingham bus sit-in, during which Shuttlesworth and others boarded city buses and sat in the "whites only" sections. The ACMHR would eventually become a charter member organization in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.


2. He lived nearly nine decades, but many people tried to kill Shuttlesworth much earlier for his outspokenness. He was the target of two bomb attacks, one on his home and one on his church. And when Shuttlesworth tried to enroll his daughters in an all-white Birmingham school in 1957, an armed mob attacked him, beating him unconscious and stabbing his wife. The couple survived, and when a doctor remarked that Shuttlesworth was lucky to have avoided a concussion, Shuttlesworth said, "Doctor, the Lord knew I lived in a hard town, so he gave me a hard head."

3. Though he worked closely with King, Shuttlesworth's style was decidedly different. "Among the youthful 'elders' of the movement," historian Diane McWhorter told The New York Times, "he was Martin Luther King's most effective and insistent foil: blunt where King was soothing, driven where King was leisurely, and most important, confrontational where King was conciliatory—meaning, critically, that he was more upsetting than King in the eyes of the white public." Despite their differences, King once called Shuttlesworth "the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South."

4. Shuttlesworth's fiercest enemy in Birmingham was infamous public safety commissioner Bull Connor. Connor's violent responses—attack dogs, fire hoses, billy clubs—to Shuttlesworth's peaceful demonstrations were integral in changing America's attitude about Jim Crow. "The televised images of Connor directing handlers of police dogs to attack unarmed demonstrators and firefighters' using hoses to knock down children had a profound effect on American citizens' view of the civil rights struggle," says the Shuttlesworth Foundation's website.

5. After his actions helped spawn the passage of the federal Civil Rights Act in 1964, Shuttlesworth continued fighting for justice in realms both racial and economic. In 1988 he founded the Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation to help low-income families own their own homes, and in 2004 he became president of the SCLC. A firebrand to the end, he resigned from the SCLC within months, saying "deceit, mistrust and a lack of spiritual discipline and truth have eaten at the core of this once-hallowed organization." Three years ago, the city of Birmingham named its airport after Shuttlesworth. There are still no monuments named after Bull Connor.

Articles
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health