A Soul Searching History Lesson: Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama (Part 1)

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Interview Introduction

Hello Soul Searching Family! It’s your sister in Christ, Nicole C Schroeder. As we prepare to celebrate our 2nd year anniversary, I felt led to add firsthand information to our virtual history book. Mrs. Patricia Jefferson, also known as “Mother” to some, Ms. Pat to others, but a God sent to everyone who meets her, blessed me with an opportunity to interview her. We talked about her life in Alabama during the 50’s and 60’s which included segregation, protests and bombings. While she is transparent about the hard feelings, she once felt toward a race of people who harmed African Americans, she praises God for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For it was his love and mercy that changed her heart and allowed her to love her fellow man the way our Heavenly Father intended.

Part 1: Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama

Mrs. Patricia Jefferson was born on February 10, 1948 in Birmingham, Alabama. According to Mrs. Jefferson, the city was divided because of segregation; however, she did not truly understand what was happening in their city until her teen years. “We had all we needed on our side of town.” She said, remembering her all black community fondly as it included her school and church.

As Mrs. Jefferson continued to recall her childhood, she remembered stepping on the front step of the bus to place her dime; however, she had to step off the bus and enter from the back. She said, “This was normal for me, so I didn’t think about this too much.” In addition, she recalled segregated fountains and back door entrances to restaurants. Then, Mrs. Jefferson reiterated the fact that it was all a normal part of her childhood, but she also said, “… Looking back on it, I can see that it was horrid. Still, I never questioned it because our community that we lived in and our environment was safe until 1963. When I was a freshman in high school, everything changed for me.”

Soul Searching Reflection

As I reflected upon her words, I was led to 2 Thessalonians 3: 1-3. This is a portion of a prayer request from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. They wrote, “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” I just want to take a moment to thank God for the times in our lives when he keeps us safe from the evil one. (The evil one is not a specific race! The evil one is Satan.)

Soul Searching Discussion

  1. Mrs. Jefferson lived in the most segregated city in the United States of America. Yet, she has fond memories of her childhood. “We had all we needed on our side of town.” She said, remembering her all black community fondly as it included her school and church. This is an example of God being Jehovah Jireh, which means God will provide. Testify or Journal about a time that God provided for you during a difficult time in your life. Take a moment to praise him for being Jehovah Jireh.

Stay Tuned

Part 2: The Year of 1963 is Next