Civil Rights Essay

1659 WordsMay 7, 20137 Pages
Bombingham Thousands of innocent African American men, women, and children were injured or killed because of their skin color. Although some problems were resolved with the help of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, there was absolutely nothing they could do on Sunday, September 15, 1963. Four young girls were murdered because they were black. The Caucasian’s who committed the crime thought this would make a negative effect on the African American community. The 16th Street Baptist Church served as a meeting place for civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama. During this time Birmingham had one of the most violent and lawless chapters of the Klu Klux Klan. In fact the church bombing was the third in Birmingham in eleven days after a federal order came down to integrate Alabama’s School System. “By 1963, homemade bombs set off in Birmingham’s black homes and churches were such common occurrences that the city had earned the nickname “Bombingham”.”1 At 10:22 a.m. on the morning of September 15, 1963, church members entered the church in order to attend early morning Sunday school classes before the 11:00 a.m. service. The bomb exploded on the church’s east side, causing the bricks from the front of the church to cave in. Although most of the members were unable to evacuate the building as it filled with smoke, four- young girls were not so lucky. Fourteen year-old Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and eleven year-old Denise McNair were all found dead beneath the rubble in the basement restroom. In the aftermath of the bombing, thousands of angry black protestors gathered at the church. Governor Wallace sent police along with state troopers to break the protest up; and violence soon broke out across the city. A number of protestors were arrested, and sadly two young African American men were killed.

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