UPDATED: 2013 marks Birmingham's 50th Civil Rights commemoration - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

UPDATED: 2013 marks Birmingham's 50th Civil Rights commemoration

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By Paris Jackson

The New Year is a pivotal time for the City of Birmingham.

In 2013, the city will host a year-long 50th anniversary commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement, a half century after the events of 1963.

The city and several organizations have planned a series of events to explore the history and pay tribute to those who fought for equality.

Currently, 50 Years Forward signs are hanging up around Birmingham; a reminder of the area's turbulent past and its major evolution.

"Birmingham has been born again,” the city Southern Christian Leadership President, Bishop Calvin Woods said.

 A five decades long progression Woods says he's grateful to be alive to witness.

He became involved in the movement in his late teens.  

“I was on the board and was a member of the inner circle. The inner workings of what transpired from the beginning to the end,” he said.

 An inner circle, which included his dear friend and Civil Rights leader Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and countless others.

The bishop says the Lord allowed him to see new leaders emerge in the city.

"He let me live to see him raise up of the first black Mayor Dr. Richard Arrington,” Woods said.

For the next fifty years, Woods has big hopes.

"The population would certainly have the same spirit of freedom and justice that men in this population have today,” he said.

The city has launched a website filled with historic information and event details called, Fifty Years Forward

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will host commemoration events/programs in conjuction with their regularly scheduled calendar events.

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