Birmingham Campaign 1963 Essay

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In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action.

We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham.

A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained.

As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us.

I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes.

It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers.But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.Right: In 1967, King serves out the sentence from his arrest four years earlier in Birmingham, Alabama.In April 1963, King was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, after he defied a state court’s injunction and led a march of black protesters without a permit, urging an Easter boycott of white-owned stores.A statement published in This prompted King to write a lengthy response, begun in the margins of the newspaper.He smuggled it out with the help of his lawyer, and the nearly 7,000 words were transcribed.Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates.Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary.Left: King is ready for a mug shot in Montgomery, Alabama, after his 1956 arrest while protesting the segregation of the city's buses.His leadership fo the successful 381-day bus boycott brought him to national attention.


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