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FROM THIS EPISODE

Birmingham, Alabama. Just the words make you think about freedom riders, church bombings, civil rights marches and police dogs. This is a place that can’t escape its history — especially the painful parts. Almost fifty years later after the tragedies and triumphs of the civil rights era, Birmingham is still a community trying to put itself back together. Some have started trying to unearth the city's past and face it. To do that, people are looking beyond the civil rights era: from slavery to vaudeville, and from Birmingham as a steel town to its post-industrial future. SOTRU brings listeners into the courtrooms, churches and backyards of Birmingham to answer the question borne out by the lives of people here: is Birmingham a monument to brutal segregation, or one of the few American cities willing to take a hard look at race?

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