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

By Glenn T. Eskew | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
Stalemate

Civil order collapsed in Birmingham, Alabama, when Bull Connor's fire hoses and police dogs failed to control the thousands of African American activists and schoolchildren who converged on the downtown business district shortly after noon on May 7, 1963. Singing freedom songs, parading with picket signs, kneeling in prayer, black folk swarmed down the streets and sidewalks through the heart of Birmingham at the height of the day. A sea of dark faces produced wave upon wave of jubilant integrationists whose light- spirited singing drowned out the chimes playing "Dixie" from the Protective Life Building. The gloved white women who normally met under the clock at Loveman's Department Store had stayed home because of the "troubles" downtown, an outcome that, coupled with the yearlong black boycott of white-owned businesses, increased the anxiety of apoplectic merchants; yet this day, those women might have seen their maids marching toward them. For white people, it appeared that Armageddon had arrived; the black masses knew it as Jubilee Day: the fear had gone. Shouts of joy blended with once sinister sirens as protesters passed patrolmen un-

-3-

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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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