Sunday, July 14, 2013

Civil Rights Institute/Kelly Ingram Park

The Civil Rights Institute is across the street from the church.  There is a lot to learn about here and worth the time/ money.  On Sunday, it is donation only.

Across the street is Kelly Ingram Park, otherwise known as West Park.

Many demonstrations and rallies took place here as well, including an assembly point for participants in the SCLC's (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) Project C.
Under the direction of SCLC President Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fred Shuttlesworth, department stores were targeted for boycotts and protest marches organized. Dr. King was arrested and held in solitary confinement for three days.  During this time, he wrote, smuggled out of jail, and had his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" printed.  
After so many peaceful adult protesters had been arrested and filled the jails, the SCLC called on children and young people to join the protests.
Under orders from Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor, police arrested 600 child picketers (some as young as six years of age) and by the next day, 1,000 children had been jailed. 
In the days that followed, firemen used high-pressure fire hoses to blast the protesters, loosed the attack dogs and beat people with nightsticks.  

I am in awe of the children and parents who were brave enough to be peaceful protesters despite such evil injustice.  

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