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Southern Poverty Law Center @splcenter
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
55 years ago this week, thousands of brave children in Birmingham, AL marched, were injured and jailed in a weeklong series of anti-segregation actions known as the #ChildrensCrusade.…
Today, many of those original 1963 foot soldiers are back in Birmingham to march again.
These children’s marches were part of a larger campaign lead by civil rights leader James Bevel to highlight the integration efforts in Birmingham.
The marches began on May 2, 1963. Hundreds of children gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church and set off downtown in groups of 50. By the end of the day, police — under the direction of fiercely anti-integration Bull Connor — had arrested 600 kids. The city’s jail was full.
On May 3, Connor took a different tactic. He released fire hoses on the children strong enough to peel bark off a tree. That did not turn around. He released police dogs on the children. They did not turn around.
That evening, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a worried crowd: “The eyes of the world are on Birmingham. We're going on in spite of dogs and fire hoses. We've gone too far to turn back." And Dr. King was right. National news coverage was intensifying on Birmingham.
On May 10, a week after the first children marched, civil rights activists and white business owners reached an agreement. The businesses would have 90 days to desegregate lunch counters, restrooms, drinking fountains and fitting rooms, and hire black workers in stores.
Many of today’s marchers are the next generation of foot soldiers in the ongoing fight for justice, tolerance and equality. #childrenscrusade
Through their footsteps today, the children of 2018 remind us what the children of 1963 so courageously taught the world: When it comes to justice and equality, everyone has a place in the fight. #themarchcontinues
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