Document Type

Article

Abstract

Birmingham, Alabama was a racially segregated city up until 1963 when members of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) began a movement to stop discrimination against the African American population. Though the movement itself was conducted in a peaceful nonviolent manner, opposition from the white civic authorities was often cruel and bloody. Images of protesters both young and old were projected across the news and made the American people think deeply about the problems within their country. Eventually, the protests paid off and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations, facilities, transportation and the workplace. The outcome of the protests was positive, but it was a long and brutal journey for all of those involved. Although the Birmingham protesters did not attack anyone, they used the violence against them to gain sympathy. In the end, due to the very nature of man, nonviolent protest was used as a strategy rather than because it was the overwhelmingly noble means of protest.