Hundreds remember James A. Hood at his funeral in Gadsden

Portrait of James Hood at his funeral Thursday. (

It was in 1963 that James hood catapulted into the history books when he integrated University of Alabama under a federal court order ending segregation at the campus. Hundreds grieve over the loss of a father, a friend, a man who challenged segregation at the University of Alabama 50 years ago.

70 year old, James Hood, passed away last Thursday, his funeral was held at First United Methodist Church in Gadsden. During the service, those close to Hood mourn. "We're going to miss dad, we're going to mourn, but we're going to unite together as one, as one in love," says his son Darrell Hood.

Elvin Malone, Vivian Malone's brother says, "He was always the guy that was nice, tell a good joke and bring humor. He would keep a crowd rolling. I kind of remember that about him.

Rev. Dedric Cowser gave the eulogy saying, "Brothers and sisters, we need to thank God for the Jimmy Hoods, and the Vivian Malones. We need to thank God for the Martin Kings and the Rosa Parks."

And as many remember the man who made history, his son Darrell is taken back by the support and love Alabama has shown.

"I'm overwhelmed and I'm humbled, it is a blessing when people join with you to honor your father, to honor your parent, it's a blessing, it is truly a blessing, for all of our friends and family to unite, not separate but unite, and love conquers all and there's a lot of love in our household and our family today and I thank god for that," says Darrell Hood.

Following the ceremony, friends and family gathered at Pleasant Gap Cemetery in Cherokee county, AL for his burial.