Worcy Crawford

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Worcy Crawford

Worcy C. Crawford (born 1917 in Hurtsboro; died July 1, 2010) founded Crawford and Sons, Alabama's first black-owned bus company.

Crawford arrived in Birmingham in 1933, planning to attend college and become a professor. Along the way he learned to work on cars and trucks while hauling coal. In 1949 he started driving the Ensley All-Stars basketball team to games in his coal truck. He soon upgraded the service to a 1932 school bus which he bought and fixed up. His growing bus service, first dubbed "Crawford's Transportation Business" attracted community groups and churches as clients.

The city of Birmingham rejected his application for a business license on racial grounds. He continued to operate for the African American community. In 1959 Miles College contracted with him to transport staff and students, an account which Crawford and Sons continues to service.

In the 1950s and 60s, he transported Civil Rights workers and leaders to events and demonstrations across the country, including the 1963 March on Washington. At one point, Crawford's company was operating a fleet of 20 buses and employed two of his sons as drivers.

Most of that fleet is now parked at Crawford's home in Southwest Birmingham. Crawford's son, Donald wrote a biography of his father entitled The Wheels of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement.. On February 6, 2007 Crawford was honored by a mayoral proclamation recognizing his as "an entrepreneurial trailblazer in the struggle for equality."

References

  • Nance, Rahkia (February 2, 2007) "Blazing trails while behind the wheel of an old bus." Birmingham News.
  • Crawford, Donald (2007) The Wheels of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Bloomington, Indiana: Authorhouse. ISBN 9781425943233
  • Kincaid, Bernard (February 6, 2007) "Proclamation in honor of Worcy C. Crawford."
  • Severson, Kim (March 18, 2011) "Another Role for Buses in Civil Rights History" The New York Times

External links