Birmingham Riots By Brian Krouse

What lead to this event happening?

The Birmingham Riots happened due to the large amount of racism that occurred within the city. Birmingham was known to be one of the worst cities of racism. Groups like the KKK went around the town, killing many African Americans and burning down homes. On the night of May 11th 1963, a couple of bombings were sent off targeting black leaders of the Birmingham Campaign. This really triggered the start of the riots and African Americans had enough.

Where did this happen and what was their goal?

Between April and May of 1963, African Americans started to protest against racial segregation in Birmingham. They got together in several groups and used many methods like sit ins in several “whites only” lunch counters, peaceful marches on City Hall, and boycotts on downtown merchants. The main goals of these protests was to try to end segregation and gain back civil rights for blacks.

What important people were involved in the event and how did they impact it?

Martin Luther King Jr. and Fred Shuttlesworth played a huge role in Birmingham Riots. Both leaders had religious back rounds and were inspired to participate in the growing Civil Rights Movement after the Brown vs. Board ruling. MLK preached to thousands of people promoting peaceful protests to stand for what they deserved. Fred Shuttlesworth established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in 1956.

What kind of obstacles did they have to face?

African Americans that protested in these riots had to go through many obstacles. They had to deal with firefighters that were blasting water at their bodies with hoses and German shepherds that were constantly trying to bite them. Another huge obstacle was dealing with the KKK. This group would drive around town burning houses and buses that contained blacks. African Americans overcame these obstacles buy boycotting, and using peaceful protest. Once their protests turned violent because of the police, the news of the riots spread like wildfire. The riots were being showed on televisions across the world which forced the president to make a change.

Video on the 1963 Riots in Birmingham

Several violent and dangerous obstacles African Americans had to face

What modern day inequality or event can you connect your Civil Rights Event to?

A modern day event that is clearly a lasting impact of the riots in the 1960's is police brutality. In today's age, there has been many controversial events involving blacks and the police. As a result, there is tension between blacks and the police. Many protests have broke out on the streets to spread the message to end police brutality. Many argued that police have been abusing blacks because of their skin tone. They say police have quickly jumped to using violence against innocent black victims. In conclusion, the lasting effects of the Birmingham Riots in 1963 can be seen today in the protests against police brutality.

Sign made to protest against police brutality


Birmingham 1963. (2016, Aug 16). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

Fred Shuttlesworth. (2015, January 19). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

The Birmingham Campaign. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

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