The Buses of Worcy Crawford

March 19, 2011

Depending upon the depth of your racial animus or lack of it you may or may not be interested in the story or Worcy Crawford. Crawford was the owner of the only black-owned bus company in Birmingham, Alabama during the civil rights era. His bus company provided a vital service to African-Americans in Birmingham during the boycott of the white-owned bus companies.

Since Worcy Crawford’s story was easily eclipsed by the more prominent ones of Rosa Parks and civil rights protest in general, his only surviving son is trying to set the record straight in behalf of his dad.

The NYT is ran a story yesterday about Worcy and his son Donald Crawford, 62, “a longtime Birmingham high school band instructor and jazz musician.” Donald would like to have people be more aware of his father’s contribution in making the lives of Birmingham blacks a little easier during their struggle to have the Declaration of Independence and Consitution of the United States actually mean what they said. 

It’s been easy to overlook the story of an ordinary man doing his part to right wrongs. The stories of ordinary people seldom make it into history books. They don’t have the sexiness of the reigns of warlords and regimes of politicians. Yet such ordinary people are often what make life good and endurable for all of the small people caught in the cogs of history. Donald Crawford understands this.

“I don’t think they intentionally left him out of the history books,” he says,”but because he operated so under the radar they didn’t know what he did.”  Not having the bloated egos of many of the blowhards who blow hard only to topple the best of who we are, Donald’s father quietly did his work for the good of those who needed it.

As the NY Times reports, “To try to make things right, his son sat Mr. Crawford down a few years ago and recorded his story, turning it into a self-published book. He titled it “The Wheels of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement,” which is what a pastor called Mr. Crawford at an appreciation the community held for him in 1999.”

I hope Donald Crawford’s book is successful in raising Worcy Crawford’s efforts into the view of increasingly jaded Americans

Go here to buy Donald Crawford’s book.

by Jim Culleny


One Response to “The Buses of Worcy Crawford”

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