Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Engaging a changing world with
an enduring faith in Jesus Christ

#MarchForOurLives

February 22, 2018

A police officer takes away protest signs on May 3, 1963. Moments later firemen hosed demonstrators. (Ed Jones/The Birmingham News)

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Matthew 19:14

I think we were the pivotal point that caused some changes to take place in society. I think the nation was so outraged by how children were being treated . . .
Janice Kelsey, Participant in the Children’s Crusade, May 2nd, 1963.

In the spring of 1963, leaders of the Civil Rights Movement feared they were losing momentum in the Birmingham, Alabama campaign. White officials, led by the infamous Bull Connor, wielded the full power of a police state to deny black citizens basic civil and human rights. Violence was their tool of intimidation.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and others had been beaten and jailed for their efforts, but the mass movement needed to awaken the nation’s conscience failed to materialize. African American adults feared house bombings, threats against their families and losing their jobs if they joined the protests. White religious leaders chastised King for stirring up trouble. The press was losing interest in Birmingham, as was much of the country.

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Category: News
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