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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(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

HuffPost tents bustling with people waiting to be interviewed.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Brownie the dog walks around the HuffPost activation site.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Railroad Park sign in Birmingham.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Nadine Barton and David Odenwelder show off their dance moves.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Interior shots of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Jarralynne Agee speaks to the crowd.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Carolyn Johnson speaks about her son.

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Birmingham Police Deputy Chief Henry Irby speaks to the attendees. 

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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

(Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

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.