White man responds to black woman’s Birmingham childhood memories

Jerry Carter

Jerry Carter

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Jerry Carter, wrote a piece in December titled, “Birmingham: The city of my youth makes a comeback.”  RavenBarnes responded with “Birmingham of my youth–from a black perspective.” Now Mr. Carter answers Ms. Barnes.

 If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Most likely, each of us can reach back into our pasts and re-live certain things that formed our opinions and lifestyles.  Continue reading

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Rich folks & black politicians holding Birmingham down?

Tanner Colby authored book, "Some of my best friends are black

Tanner Colby authored book, “Some of my best friends are black

Unfortunately I didn’t attend the Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast January 19th, but immediately after Tanner Colby, the speaker, began his remarks, the texts and e-mails started coming—telling me I should have been there.

Since I did not hear the speech and have been unable to obtain a written transcript, I am basing my remarks on e-mails, texts, and comments from friends and from the article about the speech on al.com titled, Tiny suburban kingdoms, desire for black power keep Birmingham from achieving MLK dream, author says.”

Tanner Colby, author of the book, “Some of my best friends are black,” spent five years living in Vestavia Hills before going off to college in 1993. Continue reading

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Birmingham of my youth–from a black perspective

3rd Avenue North facing East with Alabama & Lyric Theatres

Third Avenue North facing east from 18th Street with Lyric & Alabama Theatres–remembered differently by black & white

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is RavenBarnes. As far as I know, I don’t know Mr./Ms. Barnes since his/her comments below were published in his/her user name on al.com. This is his/her response to a guest blog recently written by a white male–Jerry Carter– Birmingham:  The city of my youth makes a comeback. 

 If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

It seems that we spent our childhoods in Birmingham around the same time period, but although I remember a few things differently than Mr. Carter, I also remember being able to laugh and enjoy the Birmingham that I was given. Continue reading

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John Archibald got this one right

John Archibald, columnist for the Birmingham News/al.com

John Archibald, columnist for the Birmingham News/al.com

I published a piece recently titled, John Archibald—a double standard.  Some people, who probably didn’t read the piece thoroughly, thought it was an attack on Archibald.  However, I said specifically that John is an excellent writer and journalist.  Quite frankly, if I had 1% of John’s writing and investigative skills I would be a happy man.

Bottom line is that when you agree with Archibald—he’s Moses; when you disagree with him, he’s the devil. Continue reading

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Shocking numbers UA & UAB—THE TAIL’S WAGGING THE DOG

University of AlabamaUAB MascotIn a moment I’m going to disclose some shocking numbers that tell the perverted story of UAB and the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.

If you think about these numbers, they make sense, but no one seems to have put them together.

The University of Alabama was founded in 1831.  UAB and UAH—afterthoughts—were created many years later.  It’s easy to understand that since UA is the father—and UAB and UAH are the children, why the father would want to maintain his parental control. Continue reading

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Our region’s future and the conversations we do not have

Charles Ball, Executive Director Regional Planning Commission

Charles Ball, Executive Director Regional Planning Commission

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Charles Ball.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Recent news that Mercedes may be moving its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta or North Carolina should unnerve us.  Why- Because it is just the most recent reminder of conversations we are not having, and opportunities we continue to miss.

Foreign Auto HQs.  In 2006, Nashville lured Nissan’s U.S. headquarters from California.  And they accomplished this without an international airport or even one daily flight to Japan.  What they did have was a business community with an audacious, “can do” spirit and a Nissan plant down the road.  Japanese-owned Bridgestone Tire moved there in 1991.  So, why aren’t we talking about courting the headquarters of Mercedes, or Honda or Hyundai?  Georgia may be willing to offer up to $50 million for Mercedes.  We probably don’t have $50 million to offer, and we don’t have any flights to Germany.  But Atlanta doesn’t have a Mercedes plant 30 miles from downtown.  What do we have to lose?* Continue reading

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Birmingham: The city of my youth makes a comeback

Jerry Carter

Jerry Carter

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Jerry Carter.  It appears it’s not just young folks thrilled with Birmingham’s comeback.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I spent a number of my childhood years in the Norwood section of Birmingham in the ’40’s and early ’50’s.  Those years provide the basis for my long-distance passion for the city.

I recall the old street rails for the trolleys, and buying Krystal hamburgers for 12 cents on the downtown corner of 2nd Avenue North.  The animated Christmas displays each year in the windows of Pizitz and Loveman’s department stores were awesome.  The Alabama Theatre was the absolute mecca for movie viewing.  I still recall my amazement when the Wurlitzer organ would rise up to stage level and music would fill the large hall. Continue reading

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John Archibald—a double standard

John Archibald, columnist for The Birmingham News/al.com

John Archibald, columnist for The Birmingham News/al.com

Writing about John Archibald might be the riskiest and dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but this piece is not really about Archibald.

I’m also going to write about UAB football, but this piece is not about UAB either.

As the title indicates, it’s about a double standard.

On September 30, 2012, Birmingham became the second largest city in America without a daily newspaper. The decision to cut back daily delivery of The Birmingham News was made by Advance Communications–its parent company, headquartered in New York. Continue reading

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UAB beat Saban & 5 other things I learned from writing about the UAB football fiasco

Nick Saban, Football Coach at the University of Alabama

Nick Saban, Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama

Yes, it’s true.

On September 23, 2000 the UAB Blazers beat LSU 13 to 10 and spoiled LSU’s homecoming.  Nick Saban was the LSU Coach and Jimbo Fisher, now head coach at FSU, was an assistant.

I also learned…

It wasn’t just the termination of the UAB program that made folks angry, but how it was executed.  There are a lot of good people who were hurt by the decision, but more importantly, there was a great deal of resentment because of the way it was handled (or not handled).  Rumors swirled weeks before–then after the final game of the season the historic announcement was made.  UAB students, employees, and donors felt they were lied to and betrayed.  Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, UAB | 3 Comments

Ray Watts: A good man at the wrong place at the wrong time

Dr. Ray Watts, President UAB

Dr. Ray Watts, President UAB

I am dumbfounded by the unfair personal attacks against Dr. Ray Watts and UAB’s decision to shut down football.

We say we want brave leaders who are willing to make unpopular decisions when it’s for the greater good—but that certainly is not how we are responding.

It appears almost everyone—student, public, and media—are unanimously dumping on Dr. Watts.  These are the same folks who had the opportunity for years to support Blazer football, but were missing in action.

Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, UAB | Tagged , | 35 Comments