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The Greatest Impact on the Civil Rights Movement: The Children's Crusade

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Alona Jenkins

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of The Greatest Impact on the Civil Rights Movement: The Children's Crusade

The Greatest Impact on the Civil Rights Movement: The Children's Crusade

By: Alona Jenkins Period: 8
The Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement was a "fight" for equality and freedom against laws that discriminated or segregated African Americans. The movement took place mostly in the southern states of the United States during the 1950's and 1960's where there were many Jim Crow Laws that segregated and discriminated African Americans in public places, transportation, voting, family, education, and other areas. The Civil Rights Movement "fought" those laws through many methods such as sit-ins, marches, protests, speeches, and boycotts with many leaders, participants, and groups (grass root groups) to pressure the laws into changing.
The Greatest Impact
The Greatest and most strengthening impact on the Civil Rights Movement was the Children's Crusade. This event was the greatest impact because...
The children had great bravery to stand up and take the place of the adults.
The children stayed uncontrollable and happy under the horrid police brutality and jails to intimidate the police and white leaders.
The children changed the hearts of people all over the country, world, and even the President on the situation through public opinion pressure.
What Was the Crusade?
The Children's Crusade was an event organized by the SCLC that sparked change in segregation throughout the city of Birmingham, Alabama . Thousands of children of various ages, one even 4 years old, from Birmingham and other states marched together in non-violent protests and were thrown in jail for many days. The children had to undergo many police brutalities such as powerful fire hoses, police dogs, verbal abuse, and spit along with horrible conditions in filled jail cells. However since they were fighting for freedom from segregation, they faced the treatment prayerfully, happily, and non-violently. The marches started on May 2, 1963 in front of the inspiring 16th Street Baptist Church and ended May 10, 1963 when white leaders of the city negotiated and finally agreed to start to desegregate the town.
Victory Over Bombingham
Birmingham, Alabama was a very tough place to desegregate during the 1960's, for it was known to be one of the most segregated cities in the south. There were many strict Jim Crow Laws and many very racist people such as the Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull Conner, a man who would stop any protest against laws immediately at all costs. Even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most powerful people in the movement, and his group, the SCLC, couldn't spark a change when they first tried due to lack of participants. Many adults didn't participate, in fear of loosing their jobs, being killed, being thrown in jail, facing Bull Conner's and police's brutality, and being one of the victims of Birmingham's aka Bombingham's unsolved house bombings! That is why they had to use the children to protest, since they had nothing like that to lose and there were plenty of them to participate. With the children, Bomingham finally met its competition.
The Children's Bravery
The first reason to why the children and their crusade were the greatest impact is that the children had great bravery. When the children were first mentioned in joining Dr. King's and the SCLC's efforts, they were turned down due to the fact that they could be hurt at such a young age. But through all the controversy, it was the children who stepped up, even knowing the risks of painful brutality and jail time, they insisted themselves. They were brave enough to take the stand to show the world that they wanted their futures to be better with all the freedoms they deserved, no matter how bad the punishment for trying may be.
The Children's Intimidation
The second reason why the children's crusade was the greatest impact, is that the children had a genius intimidation method. During the crusade, the children were trained to respond to police brutality with singing songs and staying happy. This method was to inspire each other to keep non-violent, to keep going, and to intimidate the police. This was beneficial because the reason why the police were being brutal, was to scare the children into stopping so that they could have control over them. But with the happy responses, the children were intimidating the police to get them what they want. Since they weren't letting them gain control or stop them in any way no matter how long it took, until they received the freedom. So, eventually the police would have to give in to stop the madness, which made the non-violent, song filled, and happy intimidation method so intelligent!
The Children's Public Opinion Pressure
The final and most important reason why the children's crusade had the greatest impact, is that the children caused a large amount of public opinion pressure. News on the crusade got around to people across the United States, people across parts of the world, and even the president of the United States! The photos of the children changed the hearts of a lot of people who didn't care about the movement, since there were children suffering out there fighting for their freedom. Even the President said the photos made him sick! This publicity caused many people to side with the children and the reputation of Birmingham and the United States to drop. Since reputation was on the line, the white leaders of Birmingham were pressured to start making changes in segregation (this started May 10, 1963), and the president stepped in on a federal level for his country. It was June 11, 1963 when President Kennedy announced his "intention" for new federal Civil Rights legislation.
The Children's Affect on the Movement
In conclusion, the children's crusade was an event by the brave, intimidating children that caught the attention and changed the hearts of people everywhere, but most importantly, the president. With this public opinion pressure, our President, Kennedy, was convinced to take action for his country's reputation and people. So he made intentions for a Civil Rights bill, that only stayed an intention for about a year, since in July 1964, it was passed.

The children's crusade was a great impact, that started the making of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A bill that we now have today that prohibits discrimination of race and of many more areas. Thus making the children's crusade the greatest impact on the Civil Rights Movement.
Jim Crow Laws
Laws at the local or state level that racially segregated or discriminated people in different areas.
To separate, divide, or isolate from others
Treating one group different from another
A type of protest in which people sit in at a restaurant that they are wont be served at and refuse to leave until they are served.
Protest in which people refuse to buy things at or use certain stores or companies to make that place lose business until their wants are met
Grass Root Group
a group of people who are designated in certain areas of helping to help a cause.

A grass root group that stands for Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The group's president was Dr. King and they helped organized demonstrations benefiting African Americans.

a type of protest
Public Opinion Pressure:
When the public sees injustice through visuals and words and they comment on them badly. This method ruins the reputation of something so that it can change.
This is a picture of Bull Connor.
This is a picture of a bombed house in Bombingham.
This is a picture of intimidating children fist pumping the air in freedom through the powerful water hoses.
This is President Kennedy addressing the nation on his intentions for new federal Civil Rights legislation.
This is a brave girl from the march being arrested for her cause.
This is a picture of President Lyndon B. Johnson passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (President Kennedy was assassinated before the bill was passed, and the next president was Johnson).
Information From:
http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/civil-rights-movement-birmingham-campaign/ *the video and words*
Notes we took in class from The Children’s March
Notes we took on the Civil Rights Movement
Pictures From:
*In Order By Page Order; pages with 2 pictures picture order form left to right*
cover page: http://www.bamn.com/public-education/take-action-to-keep-southwestern-high-school-and-all-detroit-public-schools-open
1st page left pic: http://www.glogster.com/acullotta/jim-crow-laws/g-6mh5ighva519vh8kkrcaha0 ; 1st page right pic: http://www.consciousplat.com/profiles/blogs/civilrights2013
2nd page left pic: http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/liberation_curriculum/childrenscrusade/lesson3.htm ; right pic: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/04/the_children_the_lessons_and_t.html
3rd page left: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_campaign ; right pic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_campaign
4th page left: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_Connor ; right pic: http://minorjive.typepad.com/hungryblues/2004/06/from_delmar_to_.html
5th page picture: http://photos.al.com/birmingham-news/2013/04/file_negative_bag_63-3676_12.html
6th page picture: http://www.biography.com/news/black-history-birmingham-childrens-crusade-1963-video
7th page picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_campaign
8th page picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964
Full transcript