Wednesday, December 11, 2013

White Civil Rights Leader attacked by Mob in 57 dies.


Lamar Weaver, 85, a white civil rights leader once attacked by a mob in Birmingham, has died, his family said.
Weaver, who most recently lived in Kennesaw, Ga., died on Dec. 6, said his son, Robert Weaver of Cincinnati.
"He was very passionate about things," Robert Weaver said. "He would, if he believed in something, just pour himself into it.

He was very loved, or he wasn't. It drained him toward the end."

In a famous picture taken by photographer Robert Adams of The Birmingham News on March 6, 1957, Weaver greeted the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and his wife, Ruby, in the whites-only waiting room at Birmingham's train depot, Terminal Station. One day earlier, the Alabama Public Service Commission ruled that the waiting rooms for interstate travel must remain segregated. Shuttlesworth announced that he planned to defy the city's segregation ordinance, and his friend Weaver arrived to show support. Minutes after the photo was taken, police ejected Weaver from the waiting room and he was attacked by a mob of more than 100 white protesters.

Weaver made it to his car, a convertible, but the mob led by Klansman Robert "Dynamite Bob" Chambliss began rocking his car trying to turn it over. He was pelted with cement blocks and rocks that broke the windows. He backed out and sped away from the mob, then drove to the Birmingham Police Department headquarters for protection.

There, he was arrested and charged with reckless driving, running a red light and striking a pedestrian. City Judge Oliver B. Hall admonished him for supporting integration and told him to get out of town, Weaver wrote in his autobiography. Weaver was fined $25. John and Ernest Poole, owners of Poole Funeral Home, paid Weaver's fine, hid his car and took him to the funeral home, where he hid in a coffin as the mob searched for him. He then caught a flight to Washington, D.C., to testify in front of the U.S. Senate sub-committee on civil rights.

Weaver wrote a story about the incident, "White Man Who Could Never Go Home," in the August 1957 issue of Ebony magazine. READ MORE

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