- Associated Press - Sunday, August 5, 2018

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Researchers have uncovered new evidence about Tuscaloosa’s role in the civil rights movement.

They include a photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking from the pulpit of a Tuscaloosa church on March 9, 1964. The image was captured by Edward Jenkins, one of the few African-American photographers who covered the struggle for civil rights.

Also found was a video of what came to be known as “Bloody Tuesday” on June 9, 1964, Alabama Public Radio reported . On that day, a peaceful march to protest segregation was met with beatings, tear gas, fire hoses and arrests.

The footage was found in the Huntley Film Archives in England, but researchers aren’t sure who shot it or how John Huntley came to acquire it.

The Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Task Force found both items while researching the city’s involvement in the civil rights movement.

It was known that King spoke at Tuscaloosa’s First African Baptist Church during the service when the Rev. T.Y. Rogers Jr. was installed as pastor, said Rebecca Minder, a spokeswoman for the task force. But until recently turning to Jenkins for help, they couldn’t find any photographic evidence of King’s visit.

“We asked him about that installation service, and he said, ‘Well, you know, I think I’ve got a picture of that,’” Minder said of the photographer. “And he actually looks in a file folder that was tucked away in a box, stored in a storage room, and lo and behold, there’s this beautiful photo.”

King had recommended Rogers to serve as pastor of the Tuscaloosa church. He led the church from 1964-1971 and served on the Tuscaloosa Citizens for Action Committee during his tenure.

On June 9, 1964, Rogers tried to lead a march from the church to the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse in a protest over segregated restrooms and drinking fountains on “Bloody Tuesday.”

The task force has been conducting interviews, collecting stories and working to acquire photos and memorabilia to form Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Trail. One section of the trail in the downtown area will center around the events of the Bloody Tuesday march.

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