Magic City Madness: HuffPost’s Listen To America Tour Stops In Birmingham

Jenna Amatulli

During the second week of Listen to America, HuffPost’s 25-city tour around the U.S., we stopped in the bustling city of Birmingham, Alabama.

Birmingham was a rapidly growing industrial center from 1881 to 1920, garnering it the nickname “Magic City,” and it’s currently an important business center in the Southeast. 

HuffPost camped out in Railroad Park for a day to talk to locals about what it is that makes Birmingham tick. From up-and-coming areas of the city, to racial tensions, to transportation, to dancing ― residents were open to talking about it all.

Additionally, we held a panel at the historic 16th Street Baptist Church regarding the violence that devastates pockets of the city on a daily basis. We heard from Henry Irby, the deputy chief at Birmingham Police Department; Danny Carr, Jefferson County deputy district attorney; Jarralynne Agee, Birmingham Violence Reduction Initiative manager; and Carolyn Johnson, a community activist.

“You might get the idea that Birmingham is the Wild West. A small percentage of the community is committing a large percentage of the crime,” Agee said at the start of the panel.

For a bit of what went on Birmingham, you can take a look at our time there below.

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The HuffPost bus sits in front of Region Field stadium as HuffPost visits Birmingham, Alabama, on Sept. 20 as part of Listen To America.

HuffPost tents bustling with people waiting to be interviewed.

Jonathan, who is 4 years old, checks out his temporary tattoo.

Brownie the dog walks around the HuffPost activation site.

HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen chats with Glenny Broch.

HuffPost Senior Front Page Editor Chloe Angyal gets dog kisses from Brownie the dog.

David Odenwelder shows off his dance moves for HuffPost during the outlet's visit to Birmingham. 

Railroad Park sign in Birmingham.

Lydia Polgreen interviews Birmingham Mayor William Bell on the HuffPost bus.

Nadine Barton show off her dance moves for HuffPost during the outlet's visit to Birmingham.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell points to his city's name on the HuffPost bus.

Nadine Barton and David Odenwelder show off their dance moves.

The HuffPost bus in front of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

The HuffPost bus in front of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

William Bell, the mayor of Birmingham, speaks before the event called "€œOvercoming and Surviving Inner City Violence in Birmingham" 

Interior shots of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Sarah Verser speaks during the "Overcoming and Surviving Inner City Violence in Birmingham" event.

Sarah Verser interviews Lydia Polgreen before the "Overcoming and Surviving Inner City Violence in Birmingham" event.

City Council member Sheila Tyson speaks to moderator Sarah Verser and panelists David Luker, Danny Carr, Henry Irby, Carolyn Johnson, Jarralynne Agee during the "€œOvercoming and Surviving Inner City Violence in Birmingham" event.

Jarralynne Agee speaks to the crowd.

Carolyn Johnson speaks about her son.

Birmingham Police Deputy Chief Henry Irby speaks to the attendees. 

A.J. Johnson explains his point of view at the event.

Eric Craig helps a person down the stairs after the "€œOvercoming and Surviving Inner City Violence in Birmingham" event.

A Martin Luther King Jr. statue in front of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.