Category Archives: Race relations

Is Steven Hoyt evil?

Councilor Steven Hoyt
Councilor Steven Hoyt

When you read some of the remarks by (I assume) white commenters on al.com, you almost have to come to the conclusion that Steven Hoyt is the devil—some kind of black racist.  Councilor Hoyt is the City Council representative from Birmingham’s District 8.

Councilor Hoyt regularly seems to be in the headlines standing up for African-American inclusion when there are economic opportunities for individuals or businesses created by the City of Birmingham.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Continue reading Is Steven Hoyt evil?

Birmingham: Why do we continue to embarrass ourselves?

Birmingham Water Works

Some folks want me to take sides in the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) squabble, but that’s not my role.  My role as publisher of ComebackTown is to place a spotlight on why we continue to put ourselves in such embarrassing situations.

For those of you who don’t know about the controversy, some folks in our State Legislature have determined that the BWWB is broken.  They want to increase the size of the board to bring about broader regional representation, implement term limits, cap board member compensation, and require public hearings before proposed rate increases. Continue reading Birmingham: Why do we continue to embarrass ourselves?

Birmingham and the Detached Millennials

Steve Boswell
Steve Boswell

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Steve Boswell.  We love to hear from young professionals.   If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

“Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement’s commencement in Birmingham. A movement whose impact would serve to pave the path of minority progress far beyond the streets of downtown Birmingham. When I reflect on what happened fifty years ago in Birmingham, there are four people who immediately come to mind. Four people, separated in pairs, and pitted against one another as implacable foes. On the one side were Continue reading Birmingham and the Detached Millennials

Birmingham: No one wants to talk about race

David SherRecently, I authored an artcle titled, “Surely this article will get me sued.

It was about the daughter of a friend of mine who while studying abroad was asked by a fellow student why Birmingham had a separate bar association for African-Americans.  (Her friend had discovered on the Internet)

I wrote specifically that I was not knowledgeable about our bar associations and I wasn’t being judgmental, but I was concerned with the perception of Birmingham since historically we have had a poor reputation for race relations.

I was immediately accused by commenters of “race baiting”… Continue reading Birmingham: No one wants to talk about race

This will article will surely get me sued

Anthony Joseph
Anthony Joseph, President of the Alabama State Bar

Writing about something I know little about that might upset attorneys seems like a recipe for disaster.

However, I think it would be fair to say only Birmingham attorneys would be able to explain the following.

The daughter of a friend of mine is studying abroad.  A fellow student discovered on the Internet that Birmingham has a separate bar association for black attorneys…and asked her why. Continue reading This will article will surely get me sued

Did Mt. Brook blow up Birmingham?

(Editors note:  This article is not about Mt. Brook–it’s much broader than that.  It’s also not about the City of Birmingham–it’s about our metro. Today we examine the topic no one wants to discuss.)

A young, well-respected business man approached me after a civic club meeting. He wanted to talk about our region’s lack of progress.

Soon the conversation turned to our 37 municipalities in Jefferson County.

He said he understood how competing cities hurt our region, but as a Mt. Brook resident he was not about ready to sacrifice his children’s education for better government. Continue reading Did Mt. Brook blow up Birmingham?

Warning: Blacks—be careful when moving to Birmingham

Comebacktown published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on better government for our region.

Today’s guest blogger is Donna Francavilla.

What will it take for Birmingham to remove the tarnish of a half-century ago?

Whenever images of Birmingham’s tumultuous past are flashed before viewers, the black and white footage and photographs of attacking police dogs, of fire hoses blasting teenage demonstrators, and peaceful protesters being hauled off to jail are shown.  You’ve seen those indelible images repeatedly.  They continue to stigmatize our community in the eyes of the nation and the world. Continue reading Warning: Blacks—be careful when moving to Birmingham

Why do we allow terrorists to define Birmingham?

Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing

I can’t help myself.

When I see pictures of victims, particularly children, who were killed or maimed in the Boston Marathon bombing or the Newtown massacre, my eyes well up and I grieve.  I know I’m not alone, but knowing these horrendous events sadden others doesn’t make me feel better.

Our President said. “Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.Continue reading Why do we allow terrorists to define Birmingham?

This e-mail scared the hell out of me

I’m not proud of this blog post.

In fact, I waited a month after receiving the inflammatory e-mail below before publishing it.

I didn’t want to promote the writer or his book.  But since links have been posted on Comeback.com, I thought it best to confront it head on. Continue reading This e-mail scared the hell out of me

50 Shades of grey–successful book–maybe it will work for Birmingham

When I was growing up, Birmingham was black and white.

Blacks were required to sit in the back of the bus; there were separate restrooms and water fountains for colored and white; and the schools were segregated.

As a child I had a sense that something wasn’t quite right because one day while riding on a public bus with my mom I asked if it was okay to offer my seat to a black woman.  Her response still rings in my ear.  “David, you can’t do that–someone might hurt us.” Continue reading 50 Shades of grey–successful book–maybe it will work for Birmingham