But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle

By Glenn T. Eskew | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
But for Birmingham

Just as the children's crusade broke the stalemate in local race relations, so too it broke the stalemate on the national level as it forced the president and Congress to draft legislation that ended legal racial discrimination. Likewise, the Birmingham campaign transformed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference into a financially successful organization with a powerful strategy for social change and an internationally renown leader. At first it appeared that the ambiguous resolution had been achieved within the confines of federalism, but in the tumultuous months following Birmingham, as civil rights protests rocked cities across America, it became clear to the Kennedy administration that legislation was necessary to achieve desegregation in the South. Consequently, the victory in Birmingham evolved into the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which opened the system to African Americans even in recalcitrant places such as the steel city. The SCLC rode the wave of international outrage over Birmingham, increasing its revenues tenfold and honing a new strategy of nonviolent coersion. The March on Washington was simply a celebration of the victory in Birmingham. The Reverend Dr. Martin

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But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgement xi
  • Introduction Stalemate 3
  • Chapter One - The National Movement 19
  • Chapter Two - Bombingham 53
  • Chapter Three - Bull's Birmingham 85
  • Chapter Four - The Local Movement 121
  • Chapter Five - Businessmen's Reform 153
  • Chapter Six - Momentum 193
  • Chapter Seven - Another Albany? 217
  • Chapter Eight - The Children's Crusade 259
  • Chapter Nine - But for Birmingham 299
  • Epilogue - Ambiguous Resolution 333
  • Notes 341
  • Bibliography 399
  • Index 419
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