The Success Of The Birmingham Campaign

Decent Essays
There are various explanations as to why efforts in Albany proved unsuccessful, while the Birmingham campaign constituted a significant victory for the early Civil Rights Movement. In 1961, members of SNCC came to Albany to help organize the black community’s fight against racial segregation in the community. However, these efforts lacked a clear purpose or target, and within a few month leaders (like Dr. Anderson) became concerned with the number of demonstrators that had been arrested (500). Furthermore, the SNCC and the Albany commission failed to secure provisions for the families of those who had been arrested. In response, Dr. Anderson invited SCLC leader Martin Luther King Jr. to aid in coordinating the protest activities. Despite King’s…show more content…
First of all, the local government in Montgomery was experiencing great tension as the old regime refused to cede its power to the incumbent administration. This instability undoubtedly harmed the local community’s ability to respond with the same shrewdness and wisdom that Prichett had displayed in Albany. Simultaneously, the SCLC launched its Project C, which had a much clearer target than the Albany efforts and did not suffer from organizational disagreements (i.e., targeted 3 specific stores in which to conduct sit-ins). After hundred of demonstrators had been arrested, Dr. King established himself as the clear leader of the movement by securing his own arrest as a means of protest. Although local clergymen objected to King’s activities as “untimely,” King declared that the time for change had come. Thus, King’s ability to take charge of the movement galvanized public support. Another factor contributing to the success of the Montgomery Campaign was its use of young school age children who were committed to maintaining the principle of non-violence. This tactic granted vitality to the protests and allowed families to remain financially stable during the protests. Finally, the Birmingham campaign achieved success due to the national and international media frenzy caused by “Bull” Connor’s use of police dogs, brutality, and powerful fire hoses during the protests. Although Governor George Wallace denounced the publicity, the story became breaking news that was easily distilled into small video clips on local and national broadcasts. As a result, local officials, SCLC leaders, and the Assistant Attorney general met to reach a compromise agreement that would satisfy all parties involved (i.e., desegregation of lunch counters, black employment campaigns, etc.). Soon after, President Kennedy announced that he would ask Congress to support a future Civil Rights Bill (which
Get Access