Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook, paid a visit to the Magic City. He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were in Birmingham on Tuesday. They visited the Civil Rights Museum, met former death-row inmate Anthony Ray Hinton, and had dinner at OvenBird.
“Online communities are a bright spot, and we can strengthen existing physical communities by helping people come together online as well as offline.” -Mark Zuckerberg, Building Global Communities
Zuckerberg started his tour of the Southeast on Sunday as part of his goal to visit all 50 states. Three days before kicking off his trip, he posted, “Building Global Communities,” a 5800 word essay outlining Zuckerberg’s vision for the future of Facebook. It focuses on bringing the success Facebook has enjoyed on the web into the physical world. What better way to see that vision become reality than to get out and see the people that use Facebook each and every day.
“On our journey to connect the world, we often discuss products we’re building and updates on our business. Today I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want?” -Mark Zuckerberg
While in Alabama, Zuckerberg has been getting a feel for our people and culture. He has spoken to shrimpers in Bayou La Batre, attended a worship service in Selma, and toured the Civil Rights Museum here in Birmingham. Keeping with his theme of community, he has spoken to community leaders like Mayor William Bell and individuals that have been victims of a community’s prejudice, such as Anthony Ray Hinton, who was wrongly convicted of murder.
“The purpose of any community is to bring people together to do things we couldn’t do on our own. To do this, we need ways to share new ideas and share enough common understanding to actually work together.” -Mark Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg may spend his days in California, but it seems like he has at least one thing in common with us Birminghamians: a taste for great food. He and his wife, Priscilla, enjoyed a dinner at OvenBird and had a run of the menu ordering spit-roasted duck, shaved Brussels sprouts, oven-roasted broccoli, tuna and avocado toast, serrano peppers, sunchoke paella, and octopus. It’s not clear what the Zuckerbergs ordered off the drink menu, but we would all hope that they enjoyed some of Bham’s excellent craft beer selections.
“We are all part of many communities. The strength of these local communities is what makes up our social fabric and that’s what enables us to come together as a global community as well.” -Mark Zuckerberg
We are glad Mr. Zuckerberg took the time to visit our little community. It’s good to see someone enjoying everything Birmingham has to offer, and we hope he left the Magic City happier than when he arrived.