Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The Children's March
The children's march was a march of African American school students in Birmingham, Alabama during the civil rights movement. The goal of the childrens march was to walk downtown to talk to the mayor about ending segregation. Many of these children left their school for the march even though most of them were arrested at least once. This is very similar to the march on Washington with Dr. King leading. The police in the area used the same methods to stop the children from reaching the mayor as they did or will soon do, which included firing fire hoses at the children and letting the police dogs attack them. Still with all this force against them, they still remained non-violent. In the end they succeeded because it resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This right here shows how amazingly brave and devoted every African American was in the time. They were able to push through opposing forces of the white public and still achieve their goal of ending racial segregation. What truly inspired me from this demonstration was that these were children in middle and high school as well as older children that weren't afraid to put up with attacks from the white community.
In Dr. King's letter, he talks about how the national policy needs to be "lifted from the quicksand of racial injustice" (King, 407), and how if he were to get out of jail anytime soon, he would do whatever it took to fight for equality, non violent tactics that is. He goes on listing some different ways of sending the message that the black community will do anything until they are gained. Dr. King writes about his willingness to break laws while obeying others. What he means is obeying the "just" laws and not obeying the "unjust" laws. He goes on saying that "one has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey "just" laws" (King, 405). This part stuck out to me the most because he was brave enough to work against the law regardless of what the politicians thought was a just law. Today we look back at this and agree with Dr. King's idea of a just law and agree that everything he did towards removing segregation and gaining equal protection of the natural laws were okay.
The letter from the clergy to Dr. King in a way shows Dr. King's success from the letter. In the letter, the clergymen say "[they] urge the public to show restraint should the demonstrations continue" (Clergy letter). Right after this, the clergymen say the "negro" community should withdraw from the support of the demonstrations because it is a disturbance to the public.