Friday, December 2, 2011

Make up assignment on Civil Rights

In April of 1963 a joint campaign between ACMHR and SCLC started sit ins at all white churches. When the offenders were politely arrested for breaking segregation laws the news found nothing new or sensational, so it was not covered. When Eugene "Bull" Connor's ordered police dogs on a crowd of protestors, however, the news was quick to record the attack of a nonviolent protestor by a German shepard. This inspired Reverend Wyatt Walker and Martin Luther King Jr. to use direct action to create tension in order to attract media attention. King sought to be arrested and his arrest marked a turning point in his time as a leader in the civil rights movement. Before his arrest he spoke withhis staff, and after a few hours of debate told them "Look, I don't know what to do. I just know that something has got to change in Birmingham. I don't know whether I can raise money to get people out of jail. I do know that I can go into jail with them." He wrote his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" there, which was the clearest statement of the righteousness of the movement. The national media coverage of the brutality shown by police and the desperation of the blacks helped to spread the unrest that was so heavy in Birmingham.

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