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Posted Jan 30, 2014

STAND! Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement

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Before the March on Washington… before the Letter from a Birmingham Jail… there was the Selective Buying Campaign of 1962.  A new documentary film, STAND! Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement, chronicles the key events which led Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to select Birmingham, Alabama as the site for the now famous 'Project C' (Project Confrontation) in 1963. STAND! premieres Thursday, Feb. 6 at 9:00pm on Alabama Public Television.

In the Spring of 1962, a group of students from Miles College led by Frank Dukes, their 31-year-old Student Government Association President, created and launched a Selective Buying Campaign. The campaign was a boycott of Birmingham’s downtown merchants. Campaign organizers had met with downtown merchants prior to the boycott, asking owners to desegregate bathrooms and drinking fountains in their stores. But merchants were afraid to do so because of what city leaders, particularly Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, might do.

Supporting the students were Miles College President Dr. Lucius H. Pitts, selected faculty, local housewives, and members of Birmingham’s white community. With the success of their boycott, these factions brought about significant desegregation before Dr. King's arrival to the city in 1963. 

STAND! features interviews with heroes and heroines of the movement who have, until now, been unrecognized. The music of jazz legend Cleve Eaton, who played with Count Basie, Ramsey Lewis and many others, is seamlessly interwoven with hip hop beats from King B Low and gospel music by Nims Gay and Pat Fields. This authentic combination of music gives STAND! the true feeling and power that was the Movement.

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Miles College students led the effective boycott of Birmingham's downtown merchants in 1962.

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