54th Annual Commemoration of Bloody Tuesday
First African Baptist Church
2621 Stillman Blvd
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
June 3, 2018 - 6 PM - 7 PM
On June 8, 1964, the night before the organized march would take place, the group of protestors gathered in the First African Baptist Church, where they would also begin the march the next day, for one last speech by Rev. T. Y. Rogers, who was the pastor of the church and the head of the Tuscaloosa Citizens for Action Committee.
Rev. T. Y. Rogers came to The First African Baptist Church after being appointed by Martin Luther King Jr. to lead the Civil Rights Movements in Tuscaloosa in 1964. He was an optimistic and determined leader and was able to get many people of all ages involved in the march, from young teenagers to adults. His meetings grew larger and more people began attending the Monday night mass, and with the growing number of attendees the citizens became more enthusiastic and would start to sing We Shall Overcome, stomping and clapping their hands and feet. His aim, which was to take action for the denied requests, had been met and he was able to convince people about the importance of the march.
During their last meeting, the reverend gave instructions and orders about the morning of, explaining how the march would hopefully play out. He implied that there should be no reason to stop marching, and even if somebody fell directly in front of them, to simply walk over them and keep marching. If they wanted to make a difference, their time to act needed to be now, he explained. The audience left the church that night prepared to come back the next morning with the possibility of being arrested, as they were going to be marching without a permit.