Downtown Birmingham and some nearby neighborhoods are seeing an influx of new residents, mainly young professionals and retired baby boomers. It’s a national trend — the Census Bureau reports millions of Americans have migrated from the suburbs to the cities since 2010. Experts like Bruce Katz,a Vice President of the Brookings Institution and co-author of “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy,” think this is a good thing. Katz believes cities like Birmingham are the new economic engines in post-recession America. Katz spoke with WBHM’s Greg Bass about his visit to Birmingham last year, and the central idea behind what he calls “The Metropolitan Revolution.”
Alabama has a rich folk history, full of songs, stories and primitive arts and crafts. For years, the Alabama Folk School has brought them to life through a year-round teaching program at Camp McDowell, the camp and conference center for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. The Alabama Folk School recently appointed a new director, and Camp McDowell itself has seen some major changes and renovations in the past year.
“Faith, as St. Paul said in his letter to the Galatians, is a fruit of the spirit, and a fruit is something tangible, life sustaining, a gift.” Dennis Covington.
Sam Bush, considered by many to be the father of newgrass, the more progressive form of bluegrass music, brings his band to the Lyric Theatre Saturday night, February 13. Like the founding father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, Bush grew up on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by a family of musicians. Both fell in love with the mandolin and with traditional music. There the comparison ends. Monroe grew up in the 1920s, while Sam Bush came of age in the era of television that brought the stars of country music right into his home.
Almost 150 people crowd around a statue in Linn Park last Friday, waiting to dedicate a statue honoring Nina Miglionico, the first woman to serve on the Birmingham City Council. Mayor William Bell and Birmingham City Council members past and present mingle with members of the Miglionico family and friends.
Max Cooper, a Broadway producer and Alabama’s largest McDonald’s franchisee, died Sunday at his Birmingham home. He was just shy of 100-years-old. Max Cooper was many things; fast food tycoon, sports impresario, advertising guy, entrepreneur and someone with a lifelong desire to be in show business. Greg Bass spoke with Cooper for WBHM in December of 2010.
In 1957, on the heals of his successful lawsuit that ended the Montgomery Bus Boycott, civil rights attorney Fred Gray represented a group of African American voters from Tuskegee who were shut out of voting in local elections when the Alabama Legislature re-drew the city limits in such a way as to remove them from the city. Gray sued the State in Federal Court. Almost four years later, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that race-based gerrymandering was unconstitutional.
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the law that abolished literacy tests and other tools designed to keep black people from voting. The momentum for Selma and the civil rights victories of 1965 started ten years earlier with the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955. Tuskegee civil rights lawyer Fred Gray was one of the forces behind that boycott. For WBHM, Greg Bass recently spoke with Gray about the bus boycott, and his extraordinary career. Gray went on to represent the Selma Marchers, Martin Luther King and a seamstress named Rosa Parks.