Ruth Vann Lillian

Ruth Vann Lillian is the daughter of David Vann, a white attorney who helped organize the effort to get rid of Bull Connor by changing the form of Birmingham’s government from a three-person commission to a mayor-council system. Vann later became mayor of Birmingham. He is recognized as an important player in promoting racial equality in the city, but later faced accusations of racism when he decided not to prosecute a Birmingham police officer who shot and killed an African-American woman in 1979 after an altercation at a convenience store. Ruth, a Unitarian minister, describes the complexities of the case and the continuing challenges of racism in all of its forms.