Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Letter from Birmingham Jail & Bull Conner

What meant the most to me about Dr. King's letter Letter from Birmingham Jail was chapter 14. Here Dr. King explains some of the troubles the blacks had to face with waiting and the physical and mental abuse they faced. Dr. King wrote, "We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter... But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers... when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that had just been advertised on television." This to me is a very powerful piece of writing. King show not only the embarrassment the blacks faced in this paragraph, but also the heavy mental stress they carry always worrying if they were going to make it another day and how they were going to explain to their kids why they can't go certain places an drink out of certain water fountains.

Eugene "Bull" Connor (1897-1973) is primarily remembered today as an icon of racial intolerance. Connor protected Klansmen who committed racial violence, including bombings. In 1961, he ordered Birmingham police to stay away from the Trailways bus station while Klansmen attacked the freedom riders, a group of civil rights activists who were touring the South to protest segregation. While Dr. King was in cooperation with local civil rights leaders and led demonstrations in Birmingham against racial segregation, Connor ordered Birmingham police officers and firemen to use dogs and high-pressure water hoses against demonstrators. Bull Connor did not care for blacks or for them to have any rights. He was disrespectful and even harmed some human beings. Dr. King was trying to make everyone have equal rights and Connor did not want to have anything to do with that.


  1. This makes me want to shove of hose in his face and put it on full blast. Even if "Bull" Connor won any cases back during the civil rights movement, he still would've lost them today. He's definitely one of the most infamous people in American History in my eyes. I'm a little confused as to why he was able to order the police to stay away from the stations and let the Clansmen attack the protestors.

  2. I REALLY don't understand how his morals led him to do that- it's not like they weren't humans also. Heartless, just like too many other people in that era.

  3. it is incredible to see how one man can be that way.