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Why Did Mlk And Sclc Chose To Rally In Birmingham?

Why Did Mlk And Sclc Chose To Rally In Birmingham
Why MLK chose Birmingham (Ala.) as focus for his campaign Martin Luther King Jr., with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (center) and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, defied an injunction against protesting on Good Friday in 1963. They were arrested and held in solitary confinement in the Birmingham jail where King wrote his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” (Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives) In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. Chose Birmingham, Alabama, as a new place of focus for his campaign.
  2. The city was notorious for its violence against blacks — 18 unsolved bombings had occurred over six years, and several Freedom Riders were hurt because of then-public safety commissioner Bull Connor’s failure to station guards at the bus stations.

King felt it was time for a change in Birmingham. After a series of sit-ins and arrests, however, King didn’t know what else to do; the arrests weren’t getting anything done except to fill up the already overcrowded jails. So King challenged the status quo and got himself arrested on Good Friday, April 12.

When placed in solitary confinement, he read an advertisement taken out by white ministers that derided his efforts in Birmingham, calling his actions “unwise and untimely.” Using the margins of the newspaper and toilet paper and a pencil, King wrote the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” one of the most famous documents from the civil rights era.

In it, he wrote: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piecing familiarity.

  • This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'” After officials released King on April 20, he and the SCLC worked out a new tactic: the use of children in protests.
  • The reason for this, according to James Bevel, on of King’s lieutenants, was that “most adults have bills to pay — house notes, rents, car notes, utility bills — but the young people are not hooked with all those responsibilities.” On May 2, black children between the ages of 6 and 18 marched downtown singing “We Shall Overcome.” The children were arrested and carted over to the jails in vans and buses.

Within three hours, the jails were overcrowded with hundreds of young blacks. The next day, more children showed up to march downtown, and Bull Connor ordered firefighters to turn high-pressure hoses on the young, nonviolent protesters. Blasts from the hoses hit the children so hard they were sent tumbling down the street.

Television cameras were capturing it all, of course, and the nation watched in shock. The attention led President Kennedy to propose a Civil Rights bill, and to demonstrate the bill’s support, the March on Washington was set up. Some 250,000 people of all races gathered in Washington, D.C. — it was here Martin Luther King Jr., gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Although Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, making sure blacks were included in all public facilities. A year later Johnson also signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, prohibiting illegal legislation such as literacy tests and poll taxes.

Why did SCLC choose Birmingham?

Selective buying campaign – Modeled on the Montgomery bus boycott, protest actions in Birmingham began in 1962, when students from local colleges arranged for a year of staggered boycotts. They caused downtown business to decline by as much as 40 percent, which attracted attention from Chamber of Commerce president Sidney Smyer, who commented that the “racial incidents have given us a black eye that we’ll be a long time trying to forget”.

  • In response to the boycott, the City Commission of Birmingham punished the black community by withdrawing $45,000 ($440,000 in 2023) from a surplus-food program used primarily by low-income black families.
  • The result, however, was a black community more motivated to resist.
  • The SCLC decided that economic pressure on Birmingham businesses would be more effective than pressure on politicians, a lesson learned in Albany as few black citizens were registered to vote in 1962.

In the spring of 1963, before Easter, the Birmingham boycott intensified during the second-busiest shopping season of the year. Pastors urged their congregations to avoid shopping in Birmingham stores in the downtown district. For six weeks supporters of the boycott patrolled the downtown area to make sure black shoppers were not patronizing stores that promoted or tolerated segregation.

  1. If black shoppers were found in these stores, organizers confronted them and shamed them into participating in the boycott.
  2. Shuttlesworth recalled a woman whose $15 hat ($150 in 2023) was destroyed by boycott enforcers.
  3. Campaign participant Joe Dickson recalled, “We had to go under strict surveillance.

We had to tell people, say look: if you go downtown and buy something, you’re going to have to answer to us.” After several business owners in Birmingham took down “white only” and “colored only” signs, Commissioner Connor told business owners that if they did not obey the segregation ordinances, they would lose their business licenses.

Why did MLK choose Birmingham?

Causes – In January 1963, Martin Luther King announced that he would lead a demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama. He chose Birmingham specifically as it was one of the most segregated cities in the USA. It was notorious for police brutality and the local Ku Klux Klan was one of the most violent.

Why was Birmingham the center of the civil rights movement?

Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument Will Preserve Pivotal Sites from America’s Civil Rights History In the 1960s, Birmingham, Alabama, was one of the most segregated places in the United States. Nonviolent protesters suffered brutal mistreatment in the struggle for equality and ultimately changed the course of history. Blog Post Birmingham was once the nation’s most segregated city, home to brutal, racially motivated violence. Today, a new national park site commemorates the critical civil rights history that happened here. See more › So wrote Martin Luther King, Jr., in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in April 1963.

  1. Ing wrote these words in the margins of a newspaper while serving solitary confinement after his arrest at one of the many historic nonviolent protests, known as “Project C,” that he and local Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights helped to lead.
  2. On January 12, 2017, the country honored the legacy of these historic protests with a new Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

This national park site will tell the story of the struggle for freedom in this city, and how the actions of determined citizens became the focus of world attention and led to victories in fair employment practices and racial integration at lunch counters, restrooms and drinking fountains.

Day after day, hundreds of marchers took to the streets to take a stand against race-based injustice in the city. Police and firemen violently disrupted these protests and attacked participants with night sticks, dogs, tear gas and water cannons. After police had arrested dozens of adult protesters, hundreds of school-aged youth began participating in nonviolent marches, enduring similar violence and arrests.

The protests gained national attention and eventually ended segregation at city restrooms, drinking fountains and lunch counters and removed barriers to African American employment at city stores. These sites in Birmingham represent a time in the civil rights movement when a group of determined citizens stood firm in the fight for equality and human dignity. Google Maps A map of four of the key sites that could be become part of the proposed Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Park. See more › The national park site includes portions of the Historic Birmingham Civil Rights District, including:

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A.G. Gaston Motel. Opened in 1954, this motel was considered a historic monument to black entrepreneurship in a time of racial segregation, and was owned by Arthur George Gaston, a prominent African-American businessman. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Serving more than 140,000 individuals each year, the institute opened its doors in 1992 as a hub for children, students, adults and scholars, encouraging new generations of people to examine our country’s civil rights history as well as broader subjects such as equality and race. 16th Street Baptist Church. This church was the target of a bombing in September 1963 that killed four African-American children, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Caroline Robinson and Cynthia Wesley, who were attending Bible study. This act of domestic terrorism became a galvanizing force for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Kelly Ingram Park. Civil rights protesters gathered in this park for marches. Many of the April and May 1963 protests were violently disrupted by police here.

The monument will also include other contributing sites, such as the Colored Masonic Temple, St. Paul United Methodist Church and elements of the 4th Avenue Business District. The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument has strong public support, both in the community and in Congress, and we thank the thousands of NPCA advocates who spoke out in favor of this momentous designation so that the history that happened here will be remembered for years to come.

Why was Birmingham referred to as the most segregated city in the US?

Reflections on Birmingham, Site of America’s Newest National Monument Birmingham was once the nation’s most segregated city, home to brutal, racially motivated violence. Today, a new national park site commemorates the critical civil rights history that happened here. Last October, I was headed to Birmingham, Alabama, and my mother was worried. Victory In the 1960s, Birmingham, Alabama, was one of the most segregated places in the United States. Nonviolent protesters suffered brutal mistreatment in the struggle for equality and ultimately changed the See more › The secretary of the Department of the Interior and the director of the National Park Service were attending a public meeting at the city’s 16th Street Baptist Church.

Their mission was to hear from residents whether they wanted a new national park site commemorating Birmingham’s civil rights history. And it’s that history that had my mother so concerned, because for her, the word Birmingham triggers sharp memories of a time when that part of the American South was the worst of bad places for black people.

She worried for her son that what’s past may be prologue. Eight years ago, the country elected its first African American president. Segregation, Jim Crow and the violence inspired by those two great national evils have largely dissipated. The Birmingham I know is home to great barbecue, friendly people and downtown sidewalks that tend to roll up on weekdays at 4 p.m.

But my mother remembers Birmingham as it was in the decades before I was born. When segregationist, state-sanctioned terrorism was commonly used to enforce a vicious brand of apartheid, and few African Americans felt truly safe in that city. The night before I headed to Alabama, my mother’s last admonition before she hung up was a plea.

“Please be careful,” she told me. Birmingham in the 1950s and 60s was known as the most segregated city in the United States. Jim Crow laws separated black and white people in parks, pools and elevators, at drinking fountains and lunch counters. African Americans were barred from working at the same downtown businesses where many of them shopped.

Ordinances even outlawed blacks and whites from competing against each other on the same field during sporting events. At the heart of such strict segregation policies was the belief by some whites in the inherent inferiority of black people and the dangers associated with “race mixing.” That inequality sparked resistance in the African American community, which in turn drew the wrath of Alabama’s pro-segregationist leadership.

Those who dared to advocate for change were subject to harassment, job loss, beatings and arrest. And then there were the bombings. Between 1945 and 1963, there were 60 bombings of black homes, churches and businesses in Birmingham, all designed to intimidate or kill blacks who had the audacity to fight for basic human rights.

  • Bombingham was what my mother’s generation called that city.
  • In January of 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace doubled down on the state’s pro-segregationist philosophy.
  • He declared in his inaugural address that, “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod the earth” — his description for white people — he would defend Alabama against any efforts to integrate.

“Segregation today segregation tomorrow segregation forever” was the way he famously described his views on race. In the wake of the governor’s pledge to defend segregation against all comers, civil rights leaders Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., decided to target Birmingham. Google Maps A map of four of the key sites that could be become part of the proposed Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Park. See more › While Shuttlesworth organized from Bethel Baptist Church, King set up a war room at the A.G. Gaston Motel.

  1. The Gaston was located one block south of the 16th Street Baptist Church and close to the heart of Birmingham’s black business district.
  2. Elly Ingram Park, a large open space about the size of a city block, was adjacent to both the church and the motel.
  3. The Project C protest marches began in April 1963.

Protesters gathered at 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park, intent on marching east into downtown Birmingham. From the start, Eugene “Bull” Connor, Birmingham’s ironically titled commissioner of public safety, deployed both the police and fire departments to brutally break up the marches.

Nonviolent demonstrators were beaten with police nightsticks and bitten by police dogs. The fire department sprayed marchers with water from high-powered cannons that had sufficient force to strip bricks from buildings. Those who weren’t immediately bowled over were pinned against the sides of buildings as pressurized water pounded mercilessly against their bodies.

After the adults had been arrested en masse, high school and elementary school students led a Children’s Crusade in another march for freedom and justice. City authorities chose to handle the young equally as roughly as their parents and older siblings.

  • The world watched as events unfolded in Birmingham in 1963.
  • And when people saw the lengths to which some would go to win freedom and justice and the extent to which others would attempt to deny them those rights, attitudes began to change.
  • In May, under intense public pressure, Birmingham’s leaders came to the Gaston Motel to negotiate an end to the Project C protests, ultimately agreeing to end some Jim Crow practices.

History, unfortunately, is rarely a linear march from bad to good. In Birmingham it took one more bomb blast, this one on September 15, 1963, claiming the lives of four African American girls who were preparing for Sunday church services at 16th Street Baptist Church, to galvanize the nation into passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  1. At the October 2016 public meeting, Birmingham residents offered powerful testimony in support of the civil rights park in their city. Rep.
  2. Terri Sewell (D-AL) declared that to delay the designation would be to deny justice to all those who fought for equality and have worked tirelessly for decades to preserve Birmingham’s history.
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The most poignant statements came from the aging veterans of Project C — the foot soldiers whose fight against racism and inequality in the 1950s and 60s enabled all of us to sit confidently in 16th Street Baptist Church without fear of violence or retaliation.

Even the Birmingham Fire Department attended with a diverse coalition of firefighters determined more than 50 years later to show just how far the city and the nation have come. They too wanted a civil rights park in Birmingham. It is easy to think that the Birmingham story is a key component of our American narrative so strongly etched into the American consciousness that it will never fade.

But time and progress have their ways of shading over the significance of events and people, requiring that we become more deliberate in preserving our shared past. Thanks to the authority of the Antiquities Act, any president can protect significant places by designating them as national monuments.

  • Now, with the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Birmingham’s civil rights history is protected in perpetuity for the world to see.
  • And with this new park site, we ensure that the past is less a prologue than a mile marker demonstrating how far we as a people may go when the better angels of our nature prevail.

: Reflections on Birmingham, Site of America’s Newest National Monument

Why does King target Birmingham?

Why did Martin Luther King target Birmingham, Alabama for a civil rights campaign? Because it was considered the most segregated city in the South. The members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) believed that direct, nonviolent methods could gain civil rights for African Americans.

Why is Birmingham important?

Exportation used to be very high in Birmingham and at one point, it was known as ‘the workshop of the world’. Some globally-relevant facts about Birmingham include their production of Cadbury’s Fairtrade Chocolate, the presence of Europe’s largest jewellery store and the invention of Balti curry.

Why did the civil rights movement take place in Britain?

Black Power publications as historical sources: Black Dimension – Black Dimension magazine (see main source above), published in 1969 and edited by Darcus Howe, set out the demands of The Black Eagles. These included the demand for decent housing for all migrants, the release of political prisoners, and the demand that black people who were accused of crimes should be tried by a jury made up exclusively of black people.

Black Dimension is useful as a historical source as it helps us to understand the causes and consequences of migration and to understand change over time. Articles in Black Dimension discuss the aspirations of recent migrants to Britain, as well as the reality that these migrants faced when they arrived.

First-generation migrants who were involved in the Black Power movement tended to believe that Britain was a mother country that would welcome their arrival. They also tended to assume that they would be treated with dignity and respect by their fellow subjects of the British Empire.

  1. In reality, migrants experienced various forms of discrimination that caused widespread disillusionment.
  2. Broadly speaking, the first migrants who arrived in Britain from the Caribbean and Asia in the late 1940s and early 1950s tended to accept the discrimination they experienced as a fact of life.
  3. By the late 1960s that had changed.

More recent migrants as well as black people born in Britain challenged discrimination in a more overt way than those who had migrated in the previous decade. By the late 1960s some young new arrivals, and many young black Britons, responded by organising themselves to demand equal rights.

  1. This change was brought about by a variety of factors.
  2. First, young black people in Britain were inspired by the example of radicals in Africa, the US and Asia, who were fighting for civil rights against colonialism and racism.
  3. Black Dimension shows that British black radicals saw the struggle against white domination in Britain as part of an international movement.

Black Dimension published articles on campaigns run by black students in Canada and the US, as well as struggles to end the rule of the British and French empires in the developing world. These articles often reflected the experience of the writers. Darcus Howe, for example, had collaborated with black radicals in the US and Canada in the late 1960s.

Secondly, British racism had become more forceful by the 1960s. Conservative MP Enoch Powell encouraged white British people to blame migrants for the economic and social problems the country was experiencing and grew very influential in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While Powell was not part of the Government of the 1970s, Ministers still passed laws that reflected his agenda.

His speeches against immigration were one factor behind the 1971 Immigration Act, a law that allowed the government to stop black and Asian people entering Britain, whilst allowing white people from Australia, New Zealand and Canada to enter Britain freely (see: ”).

  • The 1971 Act also gave the government the power to some recent migrants.
  • Again, this shows the influence of Powell, who argued that repatriation should become government policy.
  • Powell also caused widespread fear by claiming that black and white people could not live together in peace, and therefore that migration would lead to violence.

Young migrants responded to ‘Powellism’ by organising campaigns against racism.

What was Birmingham famous for civil rights?

Explore Birmingham’s Civil Rights History – US Civil Rights Trail Birmingham, Alabama, a city whose name is almost synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement, was the site of much bloodshed and strife as civil rights leaders faced strong opposition and the attempted destruction of their churches and meeting places.

Who said Birmingham was the most segregated city in America?

An ardent segregationist who served for 22 years as commissioner of public safety in Birmingham, Alabama, Bull Connor used his administrative authority over the police and fire departments to ensure that Birmingham remained, as Martin Luther King described it, “the most segregated city in America” (King, 50).

In 1963 the violent response of Connor and his police force to demonstrations during the Birmingham Campaign propelled the civil rights movement into the national spotlight. Connor was born on 11 July 1897, in Selma, Alabama. After the death of his mother when he was eight, Connor traveled the country with his father, who moved from place to place as a railroad telegrapher.

Connor never graduated from high school, but he learned telegraphy from his father and used this skill to gain employment at radio stations, eventually becoming a radio announcer. Connor’s political career began in 1934, when he used his popularity as a Birmingham sportscaster to win a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.

  1. After serving a term in the House, he was elected to the Birmingham City Commission, where he became known for his uncompromising opposition to integration.
  2. When Birmingham voted to convert from a city commission system to a mayor/council system in 1962, Connor ran for mayor.
  3. Although he was defeated by Albert Boutwell in a run-off election the following spring, Connor refused to vacate his office and still maintained control of the city’s police and fire departments when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights launched a massive assault on segregation in the city in April 1963.
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In King’s 1964 account of the campaign, Why We Can’t Wait, he characterized Connor as “a racist who prided himself on knowing how to handle the Negro and keep him in his ‘place'” (King, 49). During the first days of the campaign, Connor avoided violent confrontations between police and protesters.

  1. Adopting a strategy that had successfully thwarted demonstrations in Albany, Georgia, Birmingham police jailed wave after wave of protesters without abuse.
  2. On 2 May 1963, when campaign leaders called on young students to sustain the protest, police arrested more than 900 “Children’s Crusade” participants.

On 3 May, however, Connor ordered firemen to use their hoses on protesters and onlookers, and as the demonstrators fled from the force of the hoses, Connor directed officers to pursue them with dogs. During the following days, television reports and newspapers across the country showed images of police and firemen using hoses, dogs, and batons to force demonstrators from downtown Birmingham.

  1. National outrage forced the John F.
  2. Ennedy ‘s administration to send a negotiator, Burke Marshall, to Birmingham.
  3. The Birmingham Campaign ended on 10 May when an agreement was reached between black leaders and representatives of Birmingham’s business community that moved the city toward desegregation.

On 23 May 1963, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered Connor and the other city commissioners to vacate their offices. Within a year, Connor won election to the Alabama Public Service Commission, where he served as president until 1972.

What is an example of segregation in Birmingham?

During the sit-ins of 1961 and 1962, students in Birmingham and other cities across the South were arrested for violating city ordinances that prohibited blacks and whites from sitting together at restaurants and department store lunch counters.

Why did Birmingham grow in the Industrial Revolution?

In the Saxon 6th Century Birmingham was just one small settlement in thick forest – the home (ham) of the tribe (ing) of a leader called Birm or Beorma. Geography played a major role in the transformation of Birmingham from a hamlet worth 20 shillings in 1086 into Britain’s centre of manufacturing in the 20th Century.

  • It was a dry site with a good supply of water, routes converging at Deritend Ford across the River Rea.
  • There was easy access to coal, iron and timber.
  • The de Bermingham family held the Lordship of the manor of Birmingham for four hundred years from around 1150.
  • In 1166 Peter de Birmingham obtained a market charter from Henry II and in 1250 William de Bermingham obtained permission to hold a four day fair at Whitsun.

In addition the family allowed many freedoms to their tenants and there were no restrictive obstacles to trade. Developing as a market centre, Birmingham also saw the beginnings of small scale smithing and metal working. Craftsmen were listed amongst the taxpayers in 1327.

When Leland visited Birmingham in 1538 there were 1500 people in 200 houses, one main street with a number of side streets, markets and many smiths who were selling goods all over England. By supplying the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War (1642-46) with swords, pikes and armour, Birmingham emerged with a strong reputation as a metal working centre.

By 1731 the population had grown to 23,000 and manufacturing business thrived. By the time of the Industrial Revolution Birmingham had become the industrial and commercial centre of the Midlands.

Why was Birmingham founded?

The World Games 2022 is Coming to Birmingham – Birmingham is the proud host city of The World Games 2022, The World Games is an 11-day international multi-sport event organized with the support of the International Olympic Committee. Held the year following the Summer Olympic Games, The World Games 2022 will showcase a new generation of global sports in Birmingham from July 7-17, 2022.

An anticipated 3,600 elite athletes from more than 100 countries will compete for gold in more than 30 of the fastest growing sports in the world. Helpful Links: Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Birmingham Business Alliance Birmingham 365 Population The city of Birmingham has a population of 209,880 (U.S.

Census Bureau estimate, 2019) and is the central hub of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area with a population of 1.1 million. The Birmingham-Hoover Metro is the largest population and economic region in the state of Alabama. Demographics Birmingham has a median age of 35.7 with a median household income of $32,404.

The median property value in Birmingham is $86,900 with a homeownership rate of 46.4%. The city is 71.6% black, 24.6% white and 3.5% Hispanic. Fast Fact: Birmingham is seventh among the 150 largest US metros for percent increase in millennial residents (ages 25-34). History Birmingham was founded in 1871 at the crossing of two rail lines near one of the world’s richest deposits of minerals.

The Alabama Legislature passed an act to incorporate the city on December 19, 1871. Housing Birmingham was named as one of the most affordable cities for first-time homebuyers in the nation (Lending Tree, 2019) and 1 of the 10 most affordable markets for renters (Zillow, 2019).

Education The Birmingham City Schools serves 23,000 students from K-12 with 18 elementary schools, 10 K-8 schools, eight middle schools and seven high schools. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) ranks 15 th in federally funded research among public universities. Birmingham is also home to Birmingham Southern College and two-year colleges Jefferson State and Lawson State.

Transportation Five interstates provide access to more than 80% of the U.S. population in a two-day drive. The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport offers 114 flights to 26 airports and 23 cities. Tech The Birmingham metropolitan area has more than 550 technology companies employing more than 6,300 skilled workers.

  • The city is home to Innovation Depot, in which 112 startups are located throughout a sprawling 140,000-square-foot complex — the largest in the Southeast.
  • Entrepreneurship Birmingham was voted the #1 Best City for Millennial Entrepreneurs (Thumbtack, 2015) based on friendliness of local tax laws, licensing rules, and the regulatory environment.

Healthcare Birmingham has the highest per capita concentration of healthcare jobs nationwide. Financial Services The city is the 12th largest banking center in the nation and third in the Southeast. Advanced Manufacturing Birmingham is home to 18,000 skilled automotive workers – twice the US national average and 20,000 skilled metals and machinery workers.

How did Birmingham become a big city?

This article is about the history of the English city. For the history of the city in the US state of Alabama, see Timeline of Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham has seen 1400 years of growth, during which time it has evolved from a small 7th century Anglo Saxon hamlet on the edge of the Forest of Arden at the fringe of early Mercia into a major city. A combination of immigration, innovation and civic pride helped to bring about major social and economic reforms and create the Industrial Revolution, inspiring the growth of similar cities across the world.

  • The last 200 years have seen Birmingham rise from market town to the fastest-growing city of the 19th century, spurred on by a combination of civic investment, scientific achievement, commercial innovation and by a steady influx of migrant workers into its suburbs.
  • By the 20th century Birmingham had become the metropolitan hub of the United Kingdom’s manufacturing and automotive industries, having earned itself a reputation first as a city of canals, then of cars, and most recently as a major European convention and shopping destination.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Birmingham now lies at the heart of a major post-industrial metropolis surrounded by significant educational, manufacturing, shopping, sporting and conferencing facilities.