Birmingham, Alabama

To avoid desegregating its parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and golf courses, the city of Birmingham, Alabama CLOSED them all instead!!!

SCLC started Project C – ‘Confrontation’

Sit-ins and marches to achieve maximum publicity

Population of 350,000 – 150,000 were black Americans

Started 3rd April 1963

Police Chief Bull Connor closed all public parks and playgrounds

MLK gave speech at rally saying it was better to go to jail with dignity than just accept segregation

MLK jailed on Good Friday and wrote ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ while inside

Pointed out:

  • Tired and angry at humiliating treatment in their own country
  • Progress was too slow
  • Young, old , male and female African Americans grew up with and live with fear
  • Police do nothing to stop the hatred and violence and are often perpetrators themselves

After MLK released from jail – started using children in the demonstrations

Changed the methods used

  • Set dogs on them, fire dept. used water hoses
  • Police Chief Connor placed 2000 demonstrators in jail and 1,300 children were arrested
  • TV crews captured it all and footage was seen around the world
  • Showed violence of the authorities against peaceful demonstrators
  • By 3rd May Birmingham was in chaos