Tuscaloosans pause Friday in remembrance of Bloody Tuesday
By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Peyton Newman
Many paused Friday to remember Bloody Tuesday on June 9th, 1964: a march that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. The protest was led by Reverend T.Y. Rogers. He was appointed by Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 500 people gathered that day to peacefully march from the First African Baptist Church to the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse. Their goal was to push for integrating the water fountains and restrooms inside the courthouse.
Protestors were attacked by a mob of police officers and angry white citizens before they could even leave the church. Thirty-three men, women and children were hospitalized. Nearly 100 people were arrested.
Rev. Michael Foster, Senior Pastor of First African Baptist Church, said he looks to this day to educate the younger generations on how far we’ve come as a country, and how far we need to go.
“Our hope…is that it would help not only this generation, or the generation that was actually there during the time,” Foster said. “But, it will kind of mold, contour and shape the generations that will come after us. I just believe that one day, the harmonious things that Dr. Martin Luther King talked about will be made true. That we could just all live together in peace and harmony.”
Bloody Tuesday received little to no media coverage and is often overlooked. The First African Baptist Church is looking to change that with its annual commemoration ceremony. This year’s ceremony was held on June 5 and themed ‘Freedom Ain’t Free’.
The courthouse was desegregated on June 25, 1964. Exactly seven days later, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation and discrimination based on race.