The Birmingham Riots Destene Williams


  • Birmingham was known as America's worst city for racism
  • The KKK roamed the streets of Birmingham frequently
  • Freedom riders were known to be attacked here
  • Bull Connor was head of the police force and was a very open racist
  • Lyndon B. Johnson was president during this time period
  • Martin Luther King Jr. led the movement of not fighting back with the people who did not like minorities

What lead to this event:

Each time a man stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope - Robert F. Kennedy

The purpose was to get people to take a pause and realize that the way they were treating another human and inhumane and not morally correct.

  1. Lunch Counter Sit in's
  2. Marches on City Hall
  3. Boycotting downtown merchants
  4. Kneel in's @ churches
  5. Sit in's @ libraries
  6. March on the county building to register voters


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in a inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects on directly, affects all indirectly. - MLKJr
  • The Birmingham riots occurred from April of 1963 to May of 1963 in Birmingham Alabama
  • The purpose was to cause disruption and to make people listen to the cries of the people in the riots. They were tired of being peaceful, because people were not listening to the peaceful protestors

Goals of the riots :

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed. - MLKJr
  • Aiming to end segregation completely
  • Gain civil rights for minorities
  • To get white people to hear their cries
  • Gain inclusion to the white people
  • Gain equity and equality for all


  • School children
  • Black People
  • James Bevel
  • Bystanders joined in
  • Police force
  • Spectators
  • Non violent young adults

Significant people/groups:

I tried to get killed in Birmingham and go home to God, because I knew it would be better for you in Birmingham. - Fred Shuttlesworth
  • Martin Luther King Jr - Speaker and told the protestors not to fight back
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) - brought attention to integration efforts
  • Fred Shuttlesworth - civil rights activist
  • Bull Connor- led the police force on the days of the riots


If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it.- Zora Neale Hurston
  • Being sent to jail
  • Beaten - Spit on, hosed down, dogs
  • Called names
  • Kids were being abused and beaten
  • Peace turned into violence
  • Inequalities for most minorities
  • Physically and emotionally abused

Overcoming obstacles:

You can't separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. - Malcolm X
  • Dealt with the beating
  • Willingly went to jail
  • Did not fight back
  • Fought with love and dignity

The lasting effects on the Birmingham Riots:

  • Segregation is illegal and implemented
  • Blacks are now allowed to live, work, and study with white people
  • Gained civil rights and voting rights
  • Promoted status of black people
  • Equal in laws and integrated

(Video above) Obama speaking up for the peaceful protestors in Ferguson, Missouri.

Modern day inequality/event:

600,000 people rallied for justice on Dec. 13th #BlackLivesMatter. - Kanye West

An unarmed black male named Mike Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. Due to this event and the police officer not getting an appropriate sentence, it caused an uproar in Ferguson, Missouri. There was looting, famous people from J.Cole to Obama all had a say in the riots. They marched on streets, freeways, and blocked traffic with their bodies and signs saying "Black Lives Matter". This connects to the Birmingham riots, because police officers were bringing violence to the protestors and killing unarmed minorities, just like Bull Connor who brought violence to the protestors and was openly racist. Protestors in Ferguson were sent to jail and filled them up, just like in the Birmingham riots.

(Video above) peaceful protestors in Richmond, VA standing with Ferguson.


Birmingham Riots 1963. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

16 inspiring quotes from the civil rights movement. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

C., & Vinograd, R. (2014, August 11). Shooting of Michael Brown Sparks Riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

Birmingham riot of 1963. (2017, March 18). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

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