Birmingham, Alabama , United States
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Apr 17, 2010 11:51pm
|Info||Born and raised in Birmingham, Martha knows exactly how hard it is for parents to take care of a large family. She is the sixth of seven children of Mr. Charles Earl Bozeman, Sr., and the late Mrs. Lillie Pearl Milton Bozeman. Martha’s dad lost his own father to cancer at a very young age, and was deeply influenced by watching the struggles his mother encountered in raising him and his seven sisters on her own. At 13, he went to work to support his family, and by the age of 16 had landed a union construction job. Two years later, Mr. Bozeman continued his union labor by securing employment with Sloss Furnaces-Jim Walters Resources, where he stayed until his retirement forty years later. |
Martha’s mother also set a strong example for her family, marching in the Civil Rights demonstrations in Birmingham in the early 1960s and continuing throughout her life as a tireless fighter for the equality of African-Americans in the school, workplace and community. Mrs. Bozeman lost a long battle with heart disease and diabetes just a few years ago, but left her children and grandchildren an enduring legacy of belief and action.
In 1968, as integration began to take hold in Birmingham, the Bozemans were one of the first black families to move into their North Birmingham neighborhood. Martha’s eldest sister was among the first black students to enter and graduate from the city’s Phillips High School, where only a few short years before, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth was beaten by a racist mob for attempting to enroll his daughters. Breaking barriers and enduring the anti-integration sentiments of the South that existed in her neighborhood and schools while growing up taught Martha courage, commitment and perseverance — values that have shaped her life, and that she will bring to her work for Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.
“I was taught to view public service as an obligation, not an option,” Martha says. “I have worked hard all of my life, and I am excited about the opportunity to put my talents and energy to work in representing the Seventh District.”
A look at some biographical highlights of Martha’s life reflects her passion for hard work. As a student at Birmingham’s John Herbert Phillips High School, Martha played the French horn, was a member of the Alabama Junior Academy of Science and was crowned Miss Phillips High School in 1983. At the University of Montevallo, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology while working at two jobs — one on campus and the other 50 miles away at a downtown Birmingham department store.
After finishing college, Martha worked first as a research assistant in a biomedical lab, then as a human resource management representative for one of the largest employers in the state of Alabama. While working, she put herself through law school at night, earning a degree from the Birmingham School of Law. Emerging as a student leader at BSL, she formed the Black Law School Student’s Association, was elected school chaplain and was inducted into the national law school honor society, Sigma Delta Kappa.
Martha began her legal career as a criminal defense attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. The next phase of Martha’s career had her splitting time between Birmingham and Washington, D.C. Beginning in 1996, she spent roughly a decade as a successful consultant, organizer and manager for political campaigns and officeholders on the local, state and federal levels. Among these, she served as campaign manager for incumbent Seventh District Congressman Artur Davis.
“More than any other candidate in this race I am familiar with the people of the Seventh District from Birmingham to Selma to Gees Bend,” says Martha.
During the 2008 election cycle, she served as the Alabama Voter Protection Director for the Democratic National Committee. Martha has also served as an advocate for poor and working families by working as a criminal defense attorney, a magistrate for the City of Birmingham, a contract attorney in Washington, and most recently as a senior advisor to an Alabama-based nonprofit organization with an educational and technology development focus.
“My work in the political world prepared me to be a successful candidate for office, and will help me hit the ground running in representing the interests of the Seventh District in Washington,” Martha says. “I know how to accomplish things, on the local level and in Washington, and there’s a lot that we need to accomplish for the Seventh District. The people of the Seventh Congressional District gotta believe that better economic opportunities, improved education and accessible healthcare are within our imminent future, and I believe I’m the candidate who gives us the best opportunity to get those things done.”
Martha Bozeman lives in Birmingham. She is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Sixth Avenue BaptistChurch.