Local Students Get Lesson in Civil Rights

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Local students got a lesson in history Wednesday about a poignant moment in the civil rights movement.

The young woman seen being sprayed by a fire hose in a well-known picture came to Shabazz Academy to tell her story. It happened in 1963 in Birmingham, Ala. The fire chief ordered firefighters to turn a high-powered fire hose on black people.

That woman, Mamie King-Chalmers, talked to students about that experience and how it changed both her life and the civil rights movement. King-Chalmers reminded them they didn't get where they are today alone; someone before them accomplished something to help make a difference in their lives.

"A lot of blood was shed," King-Chalmers said. "A lot of people lost their lives so they could get where they are today. We've come a long ways, but we've got a long ways to go."

She went on to say she and two men eventually ran for shelter to get away from the water. King-Chalmers is now deaf in her right ear because of that incident.

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