Martin Luther King's Protests In The Desegregation Of The South

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The Kids That Changed America In 1963, Birmingham, Alabama was the most segregated city in the South. Black people could go to places such as the fairgrounds only on “colored days,” and white business owners turned them away, refusing to serve them. But on May 2nd, Birmingham’s streets were suddenly flooded with black children marching to protest segregation. Many people hadn’t wanted kids to be protesting because it was dangerous, but the march was carried out anyway. The decision to use children in the Birmingham protests played a significant role in the desegregation of the South. The Birmingham Children’s Crusade was part of a series of protests organized in 1963 by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and other civil rights organizations. The goal was to protest segregation in Birmingham, and speak to the mayor about the issue. The protests started out with adult marchers in April, and it was during this time that Martin Luther King was arrested. While in jail, he wrote his famous “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” (“The Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963”). As the protests continued despite arrests, SCLC leader James…show more content…
From there they left in small groups to march in the streets, singing songs such as “We Shall Overcome.” Many of the young protesters were prepared to be arrested, while others joined the marching as a last-minute decision and didn’t know what would happen. Police officers attacked the marchers by unleashing dogs on them, and fire fighters knocked them down with fire hoses. The police then loaded children onto paddy wagons and school buses and took them to Juvenile Hall. Hundreds were arrested on just the first day (“The Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963”). Afterwards, white business owners were forced to desegregate their businesses, knowing they couldn’t ignore inequality any longer

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