Magic City to honor Civil Rights pioneers

Pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement will be honored on Saturday 14, 2013 as part of Empowerment Week. {}The City of Birmingham will pay tribute to people like including Myrna Jackson, Reverend James Bevel and Joseph Lowery as well as Elder Bernice King and the works of her father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

They will be honored during the BBVA Compass Concert for Human Rights, which will be hosted by Jamie Foxx. {}Jill Scott and Charlie Wilson are scheduled to perform. The event begins at 7:00pm at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center (BJCC).{}"If it were not for the work of the great men and women of the movement, there would not be a "50 Years Forward." We understand that it was their bravery, their steadfastness, their sacrifices and even their blood that paved the way for us today. So, we want to take the time to say thank you and we honor you," said, Mayor William Bell.{}The city has provided some background on the honorees.
  • During the movement, Myrna Jackson played a critical role in the City of Birmingham by helping with the demonstrations of April 1963. She also participated in countless protests, where she was jailed twice. Ms. Jackson is today Vice President of the NAACP.
  • Before his death, James Luther Bevel served as Director of Direct Action and Director of Nonviolent Education of theSouthern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and initiated, directed, and developed SCLC's three major successes of the era: the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade, the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, and the1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement.{}
  • Dr. Joseph Lowery played an integral part of the movement, after the arrest of Rosa Parks, in 1955, Lowery was instrumental in leading theMontgomery Bus Boycott. He also headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association, an organization devoted to the desegregation of buses and public places. In 1957, along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lowery founded theSouthern Christian Leadership Conference and subsequently led the organization as its president from 1977 to 1997.{}
  • Elder Bernice King will be honored for her advocacy for human rights and her continued efforts to carry out her father's legacy.
The event will also acknowledge other local and national civil rights and human rights leaders.Tickets are still available as of this writing at, or the BJCC Arena Box Office or charge by phone at (800)-745-3000.