We lost a great one yesterday. Although not the same one that you keep hearing about in the news. The passing of a Civil Rights legend got lost in the shuffle because of the latest Apple news. That certainly won't be the case out here.
I really do think that sometimes folk forget that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. couldn't and didn't do all the great things he did during the Civil Rights movement without the help of some pretty impressive people around him. Rev. Shuttlesworth was definitely one of those. Rev. Shuttlesworth was responsible for laying the groundwork for those early demonstrations by black children, students, clergymen and others against a rigidly segregated society.
Rev. Shuttlesworth joined with Dr. King in 1957 as one of the four founding ministers of the Southern Chrsitian Leadership Conference. Something else that was commonly associated with Dr. King as he effectively utilized it as an effort to unify the Black clergy and their flocks to combat Jim Crow laws. However, let us not forget that Shuttlesworth was just as integral as its co-founder. At the time, Rev. Shuttlesworth was leader of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, which he had helped form in 1956 to replace the Alabama offices of the N.A.A.C.P., shut down for years by court injunction.
It was in 1963 that Rev. Shuttlesworth earned even greater respect from Civil Rights activist young and old. He welcomed Dr. King to Birmingham to take part in planned boycotts of white merchants coupled with large marches. During that march was when Birmingham official pummeled protesters with fires hoses. Rev. Shuttlesworth suffered chest injuries that inspired racist police chief Bull Conor to proclaim "I wish they'd carried him away in a hearse."
There are very few influential figureheads we have left from the Civil Rights movement. Even fewer when you count the ones who haven't managed to dismantle their image in the years since the relevancy of those tumultuous 60s. Rev. Shuttlesworth was in a class all by himself. He will always be remembered for his contributions that helped forge the way for the liberties we enjoy today.
Rest in peace, Reverend.