It doesn't seem like that long ago, let alone three decades. Here are 35 things you're likely to remember if you grew up during the period of Bananarama, Bros, and The Breakfast Club. There were no Selfridges or Harvey Nichols, and the Bullring as we know it now did not exist. Instead, there was a Galleria, on Boston Street.
The city had an official black population of about 600,000 compared with more than 1 million today. Unemployment was high, at about 12% for young adults. Alcoholism was a major problem. One in 10 children were born addicted to alcohol - there were only a few treatment centers back then.
Here are some other interesting facts about Birmingham in the 1980s:
Black people made up nearly 99% of the population.
Almost half of all children were living below the poverty line. Average household income was about $20,000.
Birmingham was known as the murder capital of America. There were so many shootings that the city had to hire gunslingers to work the streets during night time hours. The most famous of these "bounty hunters" was "Gunsmoke" James Earl Jones who took home $100,000 in one year.
Birmingham also has the highest rate of drug addiction in Alabama. One in five residents was on drugs or alcohol.
The 1960s were a turbulent decade in British history. If the 1950s were in black and white, the 1960s were in Technicolor. Days in school in the 1950s and 1960s A brief look at life in primary school in the 1950s and 1960s. Then as now, children went to school from around 8 am to about 5:30 pm. At that time, most schools did not have air-conditioning. Instead, they had cold rooms where students could go if it was too hot or cold outside to stay indoors. Some schools even had swimming pools available for use by students.
At home, television became more popular with families. In 1955, only 20 percent of households had a TV; by 1965, this had increased to 75 percent. During this time, more people were buying color TV sets; in 1964, color TV sales exceeded those of black and white TVs for the first time. The 1960s also saw major changes in music; songs written decades earlier began to sound old-fashioned. Many musicians abandoned their traditional instruments and started playing electric guitars. Popular singers such as Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote new songs that reflected on social issues such as war and racism. These songs became known as "pop music."
During the 1960s, youth culture flourished. Students gathered together in groups known as gangs.
When they weren't working or going to school, they hung out at movie theaters and soda fountains, listening to Frank Sinatra and swing dancing, living a carefree and independent existence away from the stresses of war.
Movie theaters were one of those shared experiences that defined a community. You went to them with your friends, you talked about what you saw, and you debated the merits of various stars. If you liked someone, you may have sent flowers to their home address information published with the movie they starred in. The movies portrayed a world where women could be doctors, lawyers, and teachers, and they got up every morning at a fashionable hour to do their hair and makeup. That was the world my mother wanted to live in, so when she told me we were going to the movies tonight, I didn't question it.
My family moved to Baltimore when I was little, so I don't remember much about our first few years there, but I know we missed California very much. My parents kept pictures of the Hollywood sign on the wall of our kitchen, next to a map of Maryland with stars marking all the places they used to go fishing. They told me stories about the nights they danced until dawn, wearing their best clothes so they could send money home to support my sister and me. I think maybe they also dreamed of moving back there someday.
African Americans and tenant farmers were left behind during the ostensibly "roaring 20s." Meanwhile, the rest of society was left with too much money, leading to mass spending and the birth of the stock market, with individuals putting their money in stocks and shares. This new phenomenon brought about the arrival of advertising, which before this time had been reserved for newspapers or magazines. Advertising now appeared on radio shows, trolley cars, and even hot dogs-and-soda machines. It also caused many businesses to develop a need for salespeople to get people to buy their products.
The "roaring 20s" were actually a period of expansion for the African American community. With most white families out of work or inactive, there was a huge demand for labor from corporations who wanted to lower prices by expanding their operations overseas. This led to a rise in employment opportunities for blacks: from 70,000 in 1920 to 140,000 by 1929. At the same time, education became available to more blacks than ever before, with many colleges and universities opening their doors to them. In fact, between 1917 and 1927, the number of black students enrolled in college rose by over 50 percent.
The "roaring 20s" were also a time of social change for African Americans. Although they still suffered from discrimination in jobs, schools, and public facilities, there were signs that things were beginning to improve.