Freedom Rides 1961
It was clear that many states had not reinforced the rules set of desegregation on bus services.
- Group activists rode on buses in Birmingham, Alabama to highlight this issue.
- They were subject to a lot of violence and racial attacks by white groups.
- There were around 60 freedom rides consisting of 450 people.
- 200 freefom riders were put into jail and were arrested.
- Due to all these factors, the Governer of Alabama was pressured by Kennedy to protect the freedom riders.
- Kennedy made it clear in his opening speech that he was supporting moves to equality.
- Due to television advances, civil rights had become a national issue.
Freedom Marches 1963
In 1963, Martin Luther King were keen to keep up the momentum of change. Birmingham had not changed any of it's segregation policies. To capture the media's attention, King set up freedom marches in the city.
- Bull Connor was the head of the police in Birmingham - he was racist and short tempered. He did not appreciate ant African American attempts to gain sympathy.
- Although the police instructed the marches to stop, they refused.
- The media camera was present as the police/officials use dogs and fire hoses against the peaceful marches, which included men, women and children.
- Over 1,000 marchers were arrsested and put into jail, this included kING.
- This outraged the public and so Birmingham was forced to de-segregate.
- However, this led to many whites feeling betrayed and so in the following weeks they caused many attacks. For example, the Klu Klux Klan members set off a bomb in the Birminham Chruch that killed 4 African Americans.
- Overall, there were marches in over 100 cities in America.