This Week in Black History: The Birmingham Campaign

by kathleenljackson

50 years ago, the SCLC and the African American citizens of Birmingham, Alabama, were in the midst of a campaign for civil rights. It culminated in some of the most memorable images of the Civil Rights Movement.

On May 2, 1963 thousands of children took to the streets to march for integration (now refered to as The Children’s Crusade). By the end of the day the children had filled the city jails. On May 3,  police commission Bull Connor commanded his police force to keep the children away from the CBD.

As the children gathered at Kelly Ingram Park the police turned fire hoses and police dogs on the protestors.

dogs fire hose







The images shocked the world and catapulted the trajectory of the Civil Rights Movement.




Additional Resources

Children and the non-violent lessons of the Birmingham Movement

Birmingham Demonstrations (Civil Rights Digital Library)

Birmingham Campaign (1963) (Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle) 

Interview with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth