Writing a daily Birmingham, Alabama, history blog is no easy task, trust me. I am working on it, but the research eats a lot of time, and I am trying to get ahead of the curve. The city has a complex and multifaceted history, with many different events, people, and places that have significantly shaped its past and present. As someone attempting to write such a blog, I can attest to the challenges of this undertaking.
One of the biggest challenges of writing a Birmingham history blog is simply the amount of material that must be covered. From the city’s early days as a boomtown fueled by the iron and steel industry to its pivotal role in the civil rights movement, there is much to explore and unpack. Trying to cover all of this material of just one subject in a single blog post can be overwhelming, and it cannot be easy to know where to begin.
Another difficulty when writing about Birmingham’s history is that it is a city with a complex and sometimes contentious legacy. The history of Birmingham is, in many ways, a history of struggle and conflict, with themes of racial inequality, labor unrest, and political turmoil running throughout. Writing about these topics can be challenging, as they are often emotionally charged and require careful handling to avoid oversimplification or bias.
Moreover, many sources available for researching Birmingham’s history are biased or incomplete. For example, many of the documents and records from the city’s early days were destroyed in a fire in 1925, leaving significant gaps in the historical record. Additionally, much of the historical writing about Birmingham has been done by white authors, which has led to a skewed perspective that often overlooks the experiences and contributions of people of color.
To address these challenges, I must approach writing a Birmingham history blog with care and intentionality, something I will always endeavor to do. Yes, this is less of a blog post and more of a “bear with me letter,” but I am trying. Thanks.