On December 11, 1954, Charles Patrick drove to downtown Birmingham to buy a Boy Scout uniform for his son. Christmas traffic around the department stores was heavy, and Patrick circled unsuccessfully until at last a streetside spot opened up and he began to pull in. When he did so, he was cut off by a woman who ordered him out of the way, as she was the wife of a city police officer. Patrick pulled away, remarking, "He doesn't own the streets of Birmingham." The woman reported to her husband that a black man had sassed her, and Patrick was summarily arrested, charged with disorderly conduct, and placed in a cell where he was beaten by the husband and another police officer. Patrick fought back in the courts and brought his assailants to justice.
This book tells the story of Patrick's quest for justice in segregated Alabama on the eve of the civil rights movement and represents a telling instance of the growing determination of African Americans to be treated fairly, part of the broadening and deepening stream of resolve that led to the widespread activism of the civil rights movement.
"There are few essential volumes on life as lived in Alabama in this period written by African Americans. One longs for word from this silent realm and therefore cheers this offering from Ms. Dorsey....The author has answered for the reader how Charles Patrick came to take such a heroic stance to challenge the abuse of Birmingham police."-Cleophus Thomas Jr., Attorney at Law, Trustee Emeritus of The University of Alabama
- Biography + Autobiography, Freedom + Security / Law Enforcement, Political Science, History
- United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877), Political Freedom + Security / Civil Rights, General, Civil Rights
- July 5, 2010
- July 5, 2010
- Mignette Y. Patrick Dorsey