Essay on Mississippi vs Alabama

Submitted By Onlyangelita1
Words: 1196
Pages: 5

Birmingham vs. MississippI

When considering the question of which state had the more effective plan of action in relation to ending segregation and obtaining equal rights, I would argue that Alabama, specifically, Birmingham was more effective than Mississippi. Alabama, nee, Birmingham was the first to essentially use non-violence and demonstrations as a means to achieving civil justice. Being that, they were the genesis the leaders of Birmingham’s movement, essentially developed a blueprint or playbook that was used to some extent by every subsequent action henceforth. Birmingham was thought to be by some the most segregated city in the South. The movement’s leaders felt that if they could make change here then change could happen anywhere even in the belly of the beast, Mississippi. The road to the Birmingham activism was no easy plight, because the city officials were so determined to keep the negro in his place that anytime the community organized, The powers that be set out to destroy the leader by either jailing and/ or destroying them economically. Fred Shuttleworth was essential in planning and strategizing, realizing that the leader had to be someone from outside Alabama it was he that enlisted the help of a young preacher from Atlanta, MLK Jr. The ideas for what to do about ending Birmingham’s segregation were very well planned out. They had their plan of action for the movement broken into three phases it was called Project C. The first phase of project c included economic boycotts. African American’s were not supposed to shop at any of the stores downtown. It was an intelligent route of action because it was able to show the economic power of the African American dollar. Although it wasn’t successful because the white owners of those businesses were able to withstand the loss of the African American dollar it still was one of the ways the people were able to come together and show their protest. When phase one didn’t garner the outcome they had hoped for they moved onto phase two. Phase two of the Birmingham movement started just three days later. It was to consist of various marches. Those marches ended with a lot of people going to jail including Martin Luther King himself. The organizer’s goal was to fill up the jail with as much people as they could. They hoped to overcrowd the jail with people and at the same time bring media attention to the plight of African American’s. They were hoping that with media attention would come public shame and that shame would influence the lawmakers into changing segregation laws. It was smart of King to go to jail himself it helped to prove he was invested in the cause it made him be seen as an everyday person not just a leader they had to follow. Obtaining an outside leader was important because they wouldn’t have as much to lose as say someone who was a member of the Birmingham community. They wouldn’t have to worry so much about local harassment and retaliation. For example say the loss of a job or a family member’s job or live in fear of the local Ku Klux Klan and what they might do. Eventually they moved into the final phase of Project C which was the act of getting the kids involved in the protesting this was important in a few ways the first being that children did not have as much to lose as their parents would. They did not have to worry about what a loss of job would do to the household in terms of employment and bills. They did not yet have the responsibilities that their parents had. Phase three proved to be effective it accomplished the task of filling up the jails with children and in turn brought more aggressive acts of control from police officials which included the use of fire hoses and police dogs. It was in these acts of aggression that media attention and worldwide outrage brought attention to the problems in Birmingham. It became a national embarrassment and because of that not