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BCRI Oral History- An Interview with Nims Gay

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This podcast is part of the series: BCRI Oral History


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute


Nims Gay moved to Birmingham with his parents, a homemaker and a railroad worker, soon after he was born in Calhoun County, Alabama in 1923.  A member of the Parker High School Choir and, later, founder of a group called the Gay Harmoniers, Gay was a natural musician.  He was also the first Black radio announcer for Birmingham station WJLD. 
When Fred Shuttlesworth and others formed the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) in 1956, Gay served as one of its founding choir directors.  Professional choir musicians eventually took over directorship of the ACMHR Choir, but Gay remained active in the Civil Rights Movement.  He retired from management at Blue Cross Blue Shield, the insurance company.
Listen to Nims Gay tell about driving to Anniston in 1961 to transport Black and White "Freedom Riders" to Birmingham where they stayed in the homes of movement activists after their bus was burned by a mob of angry Whites.

Length: 02:01

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

[SS2010] US11 (11) 14: Trace events of the modern Civil Rights Movement from post-World War II to 1970 that resulted in social and economic changes, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, the March on Washington, Freedom Rides, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March. (Alabama) [A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.f., A.1.i., A.1.j., A.1.k.]


Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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