On April 24, a sea of students from UAB, Birmingham-Southern College (BSC), Parker High School, Bush Hills Academy and others will remember and reenact the courageous walk taken by Martha ‘Marti’ Turnipseed in 1963.
Turnipseed, who was a 19-year-old white college student at BSC that year, heard about African-American students staging a sit-in at the Woolworth's department store lunch counter downtown. She walked from her West Birmingham campus to the demonstration and joined them. She was expelled (though later readmitted) for her action.
“Our city's most courageous citizens fought tirelessly to provide a better future for people of all races, and that must not be forgotten,” said UAB SGA President Adrian Jones. “The march will allow the citizens of Birmingham to come together and reflect on our deep heritage.”
Students will gather at Legion Field at 9 a.m. and walk to Kelly Ingram Park, which was the site of many showdowns between protesters and their detractors during the Birmingham movement.
Jones said that he and his fellow students feel it is their duty to join in this reenactment.
“Since UAB is in the heart of downtown Birmingham, I feel that our students should participate in the commemoration of one of the key movements that took place in 1963,” Jones said. “UAB prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness, and I feel that students should always strive to embrace that diversity and understand its significance.”
“When you think of the 50th anniversary, you realize that it really wasn't that long ago,” he said. “It is important to take this time to remember what so many did for us 50 years ago. 50 years from now, the next generations will be able to thank us for continuing to move Birmingham forward.”
You can follow the marchers on Twitter at @UABwalkNmyshoes.