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Singer Al Hibbler Arrested at Birmingham Demonstration

Apr. 9, 1963 - Al Hibbler (far left), the Mississippi-born blind Negro singer, was arrested today after joining Negro-led demonstrations against racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. No formal charges were placed against Mr. Hibbler, 47, and he was later released. The police said he had been picked up “because we could not leave a blind man alone on the street corner.” Mr. Hibbler and several others were arrested when they appeared at what has become known as “integration corner” — 19th Street and Third Avenue North — after 12 p.m. with painted signs calling for an end to segregated lunch counters and schools. Mr. Hibbler later told a mass meeting that he would make another attempt to be arrested tomorrow. “Those police proved unfaithful,” he said. “I went downtown simply to be arrested, but they even segregated me. That is segregation at its highest level.” Scores of demonstrators have been arrested in Birmingham since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. kicked off a renewed desegregation drive in the steel town one week ago. Safety Commissioner T. Eugene “Bull” Connor has promised to fill the jail with integrationists if the demonstrations are not halted.


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