BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)- For a long time the backbone of the civil rights movement went largely unnoticed. The foot soldiers were an integral part of the changes in America during the 1960′s. For the 50th year commemoration, the Birmingham chapter of the NAACP has been focusing on recognizing these brave men and women. Saturday at Miles College, several surviving foot soldiers were recognizes, and their heroics were shared to emphasize their importance in making leaders’ dreams a reality. “The foot soldiers are the foundation of the people like Doctor King and Reverend Shuttlesworth, who provided stellar leadership,” says Hezekiah Jackson, president of the Birmingham NAACP. “But, at the end of the day every general needs his army, and the foot soldiers are the civil rights army.”
The next celebration planned by the NAACP will be in June, honoring men who made significant contributions to the civil rights movement. The events will culminate in the “Dream Gala” on September 7th, says Jackson, when the NAACP will honor leaders from all across the nation.