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

By Glenn T. Eskew | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
The National Movement

Birmingham transformed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Civil rights activists had organized the SCLC in the aftermath of the Montgomery bus boycott as a national movement to coordinate the efforts of local protest groups. They selected the charismatic spokesman of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as president. From 1957 until 1961 the SCLC drifted without much purpose, proposing voter registration drives and offering belated assistance to student activists following the sit-ins and the Freedom Rides. With corporate foundation grants that funded the Citizenship Education Program (CEP) and the Voter Education Project (VEP), the SCLC conducted workshops to register black voters. The NAACP viewed the fledgling civil rights organization as a threat to its interests. Radical black youths thought the SCLC lacked initiative. In 1961 the Albany Movement offered the SCLC an opportunity to return to the direct action strategy that had succeeded in Montgomery. Yet, unlike the simplicity of the bus boycott, the SCLC found the movement in southwestern Georgia more complex for a variety

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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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