People arrive for the final memorial service for the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth at Faith Chapel in Brimingham, Ala., Monday, Oct. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News,Tamika Moore) MAGS OUT, NO SALES
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — As he fought discrimination in his native Alabama, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth endured bombs, beatings and the constant threat of death — the price of seeking change in one of the most violent cities of the segregated South.
On Monday, Birmingham said farewell to the fiery Baptist preacher, honoring him at his funeral as a liberator who helped free the community and the country.
Shuttlesworth was “one of the founding fathers of the new America,” who put his life on the line in the 1950s and 1960s to end segregation and racial discrimination, said Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
“Fear, real fear, smothered the air, not just throughout Birmingham but throughout the American South,” Lewis said from podium just a few feet above Shuttlesworth’s open casket. The two met in 1961 during the Freedom Rides.
“Birmingham is different today. Alabama is different today. America is different today, because this man passed our way.”
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