May 11, 1963
On May 10, 1963, the protests against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama ended.
After five days of protesting, an agreement has finally been made. Last night, city officials met with Civil Rights leaders and decided to desegregate the city and free everyone arrested during the five days of protest. It was also decided that Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, will be replaced.
Children of all ages were the majority of protesters over these past five days. On the first day, 973 children were arrested, the number growing larger each day. It is said that these protests were started by local Reverend Bevel, using popular radio personality Shelley “the Playboy” Stewart to communicate with the children. The reasoning behind all this madness was to fill up jails with children to bring attention to the racial segregation in Birmingham.
Many children came from up to 18 miles away just to be arrested. The kids who were in jail used singing to keep themselves motivated. They had more strength than their parents who were not willing to go to jail, even for freedom. The children met at the 16th Street Baptist Church before the march where they received motivational talks about what they were about to do.