Birmingham 1963 Spring Jubilation Backdrop to Birmingham January

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Birmingham, 1963

Birmingham, 1963

Spring Jubilation

Spring Jubilation

Backdrop to Birmingham January 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. , and the SCLC had

Backdrop to Birmingham January 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. , and the SCLC had just spent a year in a failed attempt to integrate the public facilities of Albany, Georgia.

After a year of marches and boycotts, the Albany schools were still segregated; the

After a year of marches and boycotts, the Albany schools were still segregated; the public parks had been closed to avoid integration; and although the library was integrated, all of the chairs had been removed. Marchers in Albany

King was in bad need of a victory in his quest for equal rights

King was in bad need of a victory in his quest for equal rights when the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth invited Dr. King to Birmingham was one of the most segregated cities in the nation King with Albany chief of police

The Albany Movement had failed in bringing about the total desegregation of Albany, so

The Albany Movement had failed in bringing about the total desegregation of Albany, so the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth wanted Dr. King to lead a more limited campaign with the goal of desegregating the businesses of downtown Birmingham. This campaign would be called “Project C” for confrontation. The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth

Among the leaders of “Project C” were James Bevel and Wyatt Tee Walker. Bevel

Among the leaders of “Project C” were James Bevel and Wyatt Tee Walker. Bevel had created the SCLC “Mississippi Project” aimed at securing voting rights for African Americans in Mississippi. He felt compelled to go to Birmingham to join the struggle to desegregate city businesses. Wyatt Tee Walker, on left, shown here in a planning session in Albany with Andrew Young, was the executive director of SCLC and the chief of staff for Dr. King.

On "B Day" (for Birmingham), April 3, 1963, The leaders of Project C staged

On "B Day" (for Birmingham), April 3, 1963, The leaders of Project C staged kneel-ins at local churches as well as sit-ins in and boycotts of Birmingham businesses and released a "Birmingham Manifesto. ” The manifesto detailed the past efforts to bring about equality and justice for Birmingham’s black citizens and gave justification for civil disobedience.

National Register of Historic Places The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church served as the staging

National Register of Historic Places The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church served as the staging point for the rallies and mass meetings during Project C. Among the many speakers were the Reverends Fred Shuttlesworth and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Birmingham leaders asked the activists to delay the demonstrations until the newlyelected mayor and

Birmingham leaders asked the activists to delay the demonstrations until the newlyelected mayor and more moderate Albert Boutwell could form a new government. After the election, the city commissioners refused to step down and allow a mayoral form of government to take office, thus leaving the old government in place until the courts could rule on the legitimacy of the election results. Among the commissioners of Birmingham was the Commissioner of Public Safety and arch-segregationist, Eugene “Bull” Connor. http: //www. birminghamnews. com

On Saturday, April 6, Birmingham police arrested protesters marching from the Sixteenth Street Baptist

On Saturday, April 6, Birmingham police arrested protesters marching from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to city hall. On April 7, Palm Sunday, two police dogs attacked nineteen-yearold protester Leroy Allen with a large crowd as witness. Leroy Allen’s description of the events of that day are given in the signed document on the left. http: //www. archives. state. al. us/teacher/ rights/lesson 3/doc 6 -4. html

In response to these demonstrations, Judge W. A. Jenkins issued an order forbidding King,

In response to these demonstrations, Judge W. A. Jenkins issued an order forbidding King, Shuttlesworth, and other SCLC leaders from organizing further protests. The Project C leaders planned for King to be arrested on Good Friday, April 12. As the planning meeting broke up , King told his staff "Look, I don't know what to do. I just know that something has got to change in Birmingham. I don't know whether I can raise money to get people out of jail. I do know that I can go into jail with them. ” http: //www. watson. org/~lisa/blackhistory/civilrights-5565/birming. html

While in jail, Dr. King read a letter written by local white ministers that

While in jail, Dr. King read a letter written by local white ministers that was published in The Birmingham News calling King a “troublemaker. ” He wrote a response on the margins of the newspaper and on toilet paper. This missive became known as his “Letter from Birmingham Jail. ”

Bibliography Lisa Cozzens , "Birmingham. " Civil Rights Movement 1955 -1965. 20/06/1998. Web. 21

Bibliography Lisa Cozzens , "Birmingham. " Civil Rights Movement 1955 -1965. 20/06/1998. Web. 21 Sep 2009. <http: //www. watson. org/~lisa/blackhistory/civilrights-5565/birming. html>. Debbie Pendleton, "Teacher Resources. " Alabama Department of Archives and History. 20/01/2005. Web. 21 Sep 2009. <http: //www. archives. state. al. us/teacher/rights 3. html>. "Fred Lee Shuttlesworth. " Encyclopedia of Alabama. 09/03/2007. Web. 21 Sep 2009. <http: //www. encyclopediaofalabama. org/face/Article. jsp? id=h 1093>. "Multiple Prints and Photograghs Collection. " Library of Congress. Web. 22 Sep 2009. <http: //lcweb 2. loc. gov/cgi-bin/query>.