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Watch Now: PBS POV Short Cuts Doc 'The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Solider of the Civil Rights Movement'

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by Vanessa Martinez
August 11, 2012 10:04 AM
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Barber of Birmingham

An official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and the 2012 Oscar-nominated short film The Barber of Birmingham, is now streaming in its entirety on the PBS site for a limited time.

The 21-minute inspiring doc follows the proud and humble 85-year-old civil rights activist and World War II veteran James Armstrong, a barber in Birmingham, AL who passed away on Nov. 18, 2009, as he recounts his struggles during segregation in the south on the backdrop of the 2008 Obama election.

In the days before and after Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election, an 85-year-old civil rights activist and “foot soldier” looked back on the early days of the movement in this Academy Award®-nominated short. World War II veteran James Armstrong was the proud proprietor of Armstrong’s Barbershop, a cultural and political hub in Birmingham, Ala., for more than 50 years. Among his clients was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this small establishment, where every inch of wall space was covered in newspaper clippings and black-and-white photographs, hair was cut, marches organized and battle scars tended. Armstrong, who carried the American flag across the Selma bridge during the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights in 1965, links the struggles of activists of the past with a previously unimaginable dream: the election of the first African-American president. Armstrong passed away on Nov. 18, 2009, at the age of 86.

It's definitely recommended viewing. Watch below:

Watch The Barber of Birmingham on PBS. See more from POV.

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