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Fred Shuttlesworth

Two Deaths: Whiggery vs. "Great Men" in Contemporary US Public Memory

Last Wednesday, October 5, 2011, two Americans of great historical significance passed away: Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Steve Jobs.*  Shuttlesworth’s death was announced in the morning.  His memory was quickly framed by his relative lack of fame compared to the one civil rights leader that all Americans know.  “Marching in the shadow of Dr. King”–which would serve as the title of Diane McWhorter’s NYT op-ed the next day–was the theme of most of the news stories that morning about Shuttlesworth, which rightly focused on his crucial importance to the movement in his home base of Birmingham, Alabama. If Shuttlesworth seemed–then Read more