A Fire You Can;t Put Out, by Andrew Manis, is a very detailed biography of Fred Shuttlesworth.
The book highlights many events that took place during the Civil Rights movement and Shuttlesworth;s fight against segregation. The most significant issue presented, in my opinion, is Shuttlesworth;s strong-willed personality, which drove him to fight for a cause that he was willing to die for. Fred, raised in a family as the oldest child, learned at an early age that he had to be strong like his mother Alberta. The situations and people who surrounded him shaped Fred;s personality. In his early adult life he converted to the Baptist denomination and realized his true dream was to become a preacher. His strong religious beliefs and combative personality made him a very successful minister. Fred would fight to integrate Birmingham;s buses, schools, lunch counters, police force, and parks.
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During his adulthood, he battled segregation and would nearly be killed three times. The evidence that Fred would grow up to be a man with a combative personality with an authoritarian style was illustrated in his early years. Being the oldest child in a family of nine children, Fred had many responsibilities. The Shuttlesworth family was poor and lived in a house with no electrical power and no running water. The family experienced many hard times, which built an essential toughness into Fred.
He was in charge of making sure all the chores were done before their mother got home. He knew that his mother had a no-nonsense attitude, when it involved home chores. If the chores did not get done, Fred knew that he and his siblings would be disciplined. The authoritarian style his mother showed when dealing with the children would be the same style Fred would take on in his pastoral and civil rights work. Along with a rough home environment, Fred;s mother and stepfathers relationship was very turbulent. Fred, along with his brother.