This podcast is part of the series: BCRI Oral History
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Born in Birmingham in 1948, Merriam McLendon skipped a grade in elementary school. During movement events in Birmingham in 1963, she was a sophomore at Wenonah High School. For months prior to the downtown demonstrations, she and her mother had attended and been inspired by mass meetings. At the height of the Birmingham movement, she spent several days in the county jail. When she was sixteen years old, McClendon enrolled in Miles College. After graduation, she moved to Chicago and continued to be politically active while raising a family and experiencing success in the corporate world. In 1986, after living in and traveling to many places, McLendon returned to Birmingham. Listen to Merriam McLendon describe how she came to be involved in the Civil Rights Movement.