FC: Birmingham Children's Crusade | By: Roofia B, Laura M., and Cheena B.
1: The March in Birmingham was organized by Rev. James Bevel. Young people from college wanted to march and help the push for Civil Rights. Everyone was part of the march and it was lead by the class presidents, football jocks, and prom queens. Black radio stations spread the message and many other people joined in. The march began on May 2nd when students ditched their classes to go and march. They marched in groups of 50 and sang freedom songs. At the end of they day over 1000 kids were jailed.
2: The next day more protesters came and police reinforcements came in to stop them. They started using violence to stop them. Even then they didn't stop marching. Families were worried about their children protesting and their safety. | "Daddy, I don't want to disobey you, but I have made my pledge. If you try to keep me home, I will sneak off. If you think I deserve to be punished for that, I'll just have to take the punishment. I'm not doing this only because I want to be free. I'm also doing it because I want freedom for you and Mama, and I want it to come before you die." ~A Boy to His Father~
3: The following day, more violence like police dogs were used. Bull Connor the police commissioner used “monitor guns”, which could knock bricks out of a wall to stop them. The students flew down the roads. Parents were upset about this and started throwing rocks and bottles at the cops. The students started taking other routes to avoid the hoses. Newspapers and TV’s publicized the event, showing images of people getting blown away by the hoses.
4: On May 4th, the protesters go into a downtown shopping center, which leaves Bull Connor in a dilemma. He can’t use water guns to shoot them down in a white shopping zone. He started arresting them. The parents and supporters threw rocks and bottles at them, but people told them that were not helping the movement be more effective. The parents decide that they are going to march around the jail, but Bull Connor stops them just short of the jail. Bull Connor says that he will just arrest people instead of trying to make them calm down. More children and adults protest the next day.
5: The adults kneel down in prayer and say, "Turn on your water! Turn loose your dogs! We'll stand here 'til we die!" | Bull Connor ordered the firemen who were there with him to fire water at the people but they hesitated a little bit. One of the men said to let them hold a silent prayer service in the park.
6: MLK assured the parents of the young protesters. | He said “Don’t worry about your children; they are going to be alright. Don’t hold them back if they want to go to jail, for they are not only doing a job for themselves, but for all of America and for all of mankind.”
7: The jails were filled to the capacity and with no more room, the overflow of prisoners are incarcerated at the fair grounds.
8: The Birmingham campaign ended on May 10 when the SCLC and local officials reached an agreement in which the city would promise to desegregate downtown stores and release all protesters from jail if the SCLC would end all boycotts and demonstrations.
9: The Children's Crusade paved the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and provided immense momentum for the March on Washington.
10: "American Experience." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 22 May 2011.
11: "Google Images." Learn NC. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education,. Web. 22 May 2011.
12: "Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement -- Images of a Peoples' Movement." Civil Rights Movement Veterans - CORE, NAACP, SCLC, SNCC. Web. 19 May 2011.
13: Birmingham News. Children's Crusade. Digital image. Encyclopedia of Alabama. Web. 19 May 2011. Birmingham Children Protestors. Digital image. Organizations of American Historians Magazine of History. Oxford University Press. Web. 19 May 2011. Students in Jail. Digital image. Organizations of American Historians Magazine of History. Oxford University Press. Web. 19 May 2011. Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement -- Images of a Peoples' Movement." Civil Rights Movement Veterans - CORE, NAACP, SCLC, SNCC. Web. 19 May 2011.