students to march to downtown
in April to commemorate 1963 stand by BSC student Birmingham
-- In 1963, a 19-year-old student named Martha "Marti" Turnipseed
heard on the radio that seven African-American students were staging a sit-in
at a Woolworth's department store lunch counter in downtown Birmingham.
On April 24, 2013, Birmingham-Southern students will recreate Turnipseed's walk as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Birmingham civil rights events of 1963. BSC President Gen. Charles Krulak and Birmingham Mayor William Bell announced the plans for the march at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
"Often times we talk about the foot soldiers, and we think in terms of the foot soldiers being predominantly African-Americans, but there were many others who joined arms with them to say we're not going to tolerate segregation any longer in our community," Bell said.
Marti Turnipseed later married Charles Moore and changed her name to Marti Turnipseed Moore.
According to a BSC spokesperson, Marti died in a car wreck in 1972, and her husband is also deceased. Marti's brother, Spencer, is invited to the march.
Bell said he and Krulak plan to jointly invite current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to participate in the march.
The path is expected to be about 2.3 miles long, ending at Kelly Ingram Park.** Area gospel choirs, high school and elementary school students will be asked to join in the march along the way, Krulak said. Buses will be provided to return the marchers, choirs and students to where they began.
The march is being dubbed the "Forward, Ever Birmingham!" march after the"forward ever" cry in BSC's alma mater.
"One of the hallmarks of a liberal arts education is that it's not just about the knowledge you gain, but how you apply that knowledge in helping to change the world," Bell said. "And Marti Turnipseed understood that. She stood up when others did not, and it caused people to think."
"This is not about what happened yesterday," Krulak said. "It's about what's happening today and what will happen the day after tomorrow. We know how important Birmingham was in moving this nation to do the right thing. Now, it's time to show that we're continuing to move forward."
**Across the street from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where the four young girls were killed when it was bombed that same year.