Fred Shuttlesworth
National Visionary

Born in Mugler, Alabama on March 18, 1922

Minister and fiery leader of the historic civil rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama

The Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, currently pastor of the Greater New Light Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of the giants of the American Civil Rights Movement. He is generally regarded, along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy as one of the movement's "big three."

He was born and raised in Birmingham, graduating from Selma University (1951) and Alabama State College (1952). Between 1953 and 1961 he served as pastor of Birmingham's Bethel Baptist Church and organized the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in 1956. He was also one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and helped the Congress on Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) organize its "freedom rides" campaign.

This interview has
been archived in the
NVLP Collection of
African American
Oral Histories at the
Library of Congress
American Folklife
During the civil rights struggles in Birmingham, Rev. Shuttlesworth's house was a frequent target of bombing attacks and he was hospitalized after a fire hose slammed him up against a building during a civil rights demonstration.

Since 1988, in addition to his duties with the Greater New Light Baptist Church, Rev. Shuttlesworth has served as director of the Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation which has assisted over 460 low-income families to purchase their own homes.

Reverend Shuttlesworth has also been active in the struggle against racist police brutality and murder in Cincinnati, Ohio. He opened his church in Cincinnati to serve as the mobilization headquarters for the pro-affirmative action and integration march and rally in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He is the subject of a 1999 biography by Andrew M. Manis, A Fire you Can't Put Out: The Civil Rights Life of Birmingham's Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth (University of Alabama Press).


Fred Shuttlesworth's Wikipedia Page

URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/shuttlesworthfred