This podcast is part of the series: BCRI Oral History
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Eileen Kelly Walbert was born and reared in Virginia. She and her husband, a musician, moved to Birmingham in 1946 from New York City, where they had lived during their first years of marriage. Walbert describes the move to Birmingham as, "…like moving to Nazi Germany…although there were no swastikas…[for] half of the population, their skin color served the same purpose for discrimination and oppression…" During the late 1950s, Walbert joined the inter-racial Alabama Council on Human Relations, through which she and other Whites came to know Blacks as friends and supported efforts to desegregate public facilities in Birmingham and the state of Alabama. Listen to Eileen Walbert discuss the reaction of some White communities to the demonstrations that took place in Birmingham in April and May of 1963.