This podcast is part of the series: BCRI Oral History Project
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Born in Birmingham in 1923, Reuben Davis is another labor union member whose activism as a railroad employee led to his involvement in the larger civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. Davis served time in the Navy during World War II, but returned directly to Birmingham as soon as he was discharged. After a brief stint as an auto mechanic at a car dealership, Davis was offered a job teaching auto mechanics to high school students in Bessemer. Though he had not attended college nor ever been an instructor, Davis took to the work quickly and retired from teaching after 30 years. Listen to Reuben Davis relay an incident from his union days that motivated him to seek equal rights for Blacks and Whites throughout the rest of his life.