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Historical Discrimination in America

Historical Discrimination in America

The events in Birmingham, Alabama is evidence that the unfair treatment of African Americans led the call of direct-action. Suffering humiliating court rulings, police brutality, unsolved bombings, and broken promises by city officials are the reasons for the actions taken by the black community. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a non-violent movement that opened the eyes of millions of Americans witnessing the protest on the streets of Birmingham. Dr. Kings actions of bringing justice for his people where just, his evidence regarding non-violent action comes from four basic steps; “the collection of facts to determine whether injustice exists; negotiations; self-purifications; and direct actions; are his reasons for the out roar and fight for equality by African Americans(66)”.

King first researched the problems before taking any steps toward protest. Merchants had made promises of removing the racial signs from stores if demonstrations were to be stopped but that came out as an broken promise, within weeks the signs were back up again. The 1954 Supreme Court ruling, desegregate all schools in the nation, yet in Birmingham, that law was never enforced and segregated schools still exist(71). Birmingham is also a city known for the most unsolved bombings of black houses and churches(66). Police brutality was also known throughout. Beatings, hosings with enough pressure to take the bark off a big tree, police dogs attacking people of all ages, are all factors to the non-violent movement taking place in 1963(66).

Bringing the African American community together, to prepare and organize was a task. Dr. King made workshops directed towards non-violence. He questioned his people, “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?”(67) “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?”(67) The community in turn sacrificed themselves and made headlines in Birmingham. Boycotting stores during Easter, putting pressure on the new Mayor and getting the media involved, opened the eyes of America.

Dr. King’s critiques criticize his demonstrations for being untimely and unwise. Eight clergymen during the south wrote a letter condemning Dr. King for his actions said, “…we are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders.” which is written toward Dr. King to stay out of Birmingham’s political...

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Category:   Discrimination

Length:   3 pages (749 words)

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