How Alabama State Shaped the National Civil Rights Movement

Courtesy: Lloyd Gallman (Montgomery Advertiser)
Courtesy: Lloyd Gallman (Montgomery Advertiser)

By: Josh Moon – Montgomery Advertiser

In a glass enclosure along one wall in the lobby of the Levi Watkins Learning Center at Alabama State University, among the various artifacts, sculptures and awards, there is a photo that probably best encapsulates the historically black college’s instrumental yet awkward role in the Civil Rights Movement.

The photo was of a group of honorary doctorate recipients in 1974.

Smiling in the picture are Rev. Ralph Abernathy, the longtime confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., Carl T. Rowan, an influential journalist and government official, civil rights lawyer John Duncan, former ASU president Levi Watkins, and, seated right in front of them all … former segregationist governor George Wallace.

“This is an important piece of (ASU’s) role in the Civil Rights Movement,” said Dr. Harold Robinson, ASU’s archivist and the man responsible for putting together the dozens of exhibits on display in the learning center.

Read the full story – Civil Rights vs. Staying Open: Alabama State had Delicate Balance


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