Birmingham Riots Jeffrey Phandanouvong

Background Info

The Birmingham Riots took place in Birmingham, 1963. It was a civil disorder that started after the bombings on May 11, 1963. The bombs were meant to kill the leaders of the Birmingham campaign, but they failed and instead of killing the leaders, they killed four innocent school girls. The bombs were set and planned by members of the Ku Klux Klan and witnesses saw Birmingham police delivering some of these bombs.

Goal

The goal of this event was to gain the same rights as white American men. Although slavery has been abolished and African Americans were free and supposed to have the same rights as all men, blacks were still discriminated against. There was still segregation and everything was still unequal. African Americans would get low paying jobs and still get paid less than white men. White people still wanted segregation and didn't like that African Americans could roam freely and do as they please. African Americans wanted to change this. They had peaceful protest to show no matter what white people did to them, they would do nothing to them because they respect them and just want equal rights.

Who Was Involved

Everyone if not almost everyone was involved in this event. There were white americans supporting the Birmingham police and overall disrespecting the black people. White people would always say rude comments to black people whenever they could during this event, and tell them how much they hated them and say how segregation needed to return. On the opposite side, African Americans of all different sizes and ages came together to protest. There were men, women, and children all protesting together for equal rights. There were also white Americans who supported the blacks protest and protested with them. For the white people and Birmingham police, their leader was Bull Connor, a racist in charge of the Birmingham police force. He ordered for the African Americans to be beat, spayed with water, and attacked by dogs. For the black people, their leader was Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, an amazing leader and activist who strongly fought for equal rights for African Americans. MLK Jr led the black people and gave them confidence and hope to continue protesting.

Obstacles

The Birmingham police, Bull Connor, and racist white Americans faced protesting African Americans. They faced African Americans with a strong will for equal rights. Since this even took place in the south, they also were faced with judgement from people all over the north. The African Americans on the other hand, faced hated, unfair treatment, water, beatings, and dogs. To overcome the protesting African Americans, Bull Connor ordered the Birmingham police to beat African Americans, spray them with fire hoses, and get attacked by police dogs. He believed that this would discourage the African Americans and they would stop protesting. The black community overcame the hatred and unfair treatment of the white people by continuing to protest and staying calm and peaceful. They also used the media to gain attention from other parts of the country to show just how unfairly black people were being treated in the south. This attention made America realize that things need to change and all people should be treated more equally.

Lasting Effect

This event made white Americans realize just how bad black people were treated. It made them change and realize just how much African Americans have suffered because of them. Today, there still are a few racist people. However, a majority of the population has moved on. They accept everyone and anyone for who they are. People are no longer judged based on gender, skin color, or religion. It took the courage of the oppressed to show that everyone is human and we all have flaws. This event was the courage of the oppressed and people all over America realized just how bad America was and changed it. That change has led to this diverse and accepting world there is today.

Modern Inequality

Today, America is much more accepting and diverse. However, that doesn't mean there is no equality and racism. The Black Lives Matter Movement is a large scale protest. Anyone is able to help out and support this movement and there are large protests held all over America. It is a group of people, mainly African Americans, standing up for the unequal treatment of black people who were killed but the murderer was charged as not guilty. Like the Birmingham riots these protests are for equal right and treatment for black people. The protests are usually peaceful protests like the Birmingham riots, however they can turn violent as soon as one person takes actions. Black Lives Matter is also like the Birmingham riots because people are standing up for what they believe in and it has once again caught the medias attention leading to success. They hope to seek for equality and justice for all. One difference however, is the police during these riots are not racist. They do not wish to harm the people of these protest and a lot of the times they also support Black Lives Matter.

Works Cited

Birmingham 1963. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/the-civil-rights-movement-in-america-1945-to-1968/birmingham-1963/

Sidner, S. (2015, December 28). The rise of Black Lives Matter. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/28/us/black-lives-matter-evolution/?scrlybrkr=96e756d6

Siemaszko, C. (2012, May 03). Birmingham erupted into chaos in 1963 as battle for civil rights exploded in South. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/birmingham-erupted-chaos-1963-battle-civil-rights-exploded-south-article-1.1071793?scrlybrkr=549fc3d9

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Jeffrey Phandanouvong
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