You are browsing the archive for Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

by Syle

March on Birmingham

November 19, 2010 in 1960s-1970s, Social history

Charles Moore photo for Life Magazine of Young Protestors in Birmingham, Alabama, 3 May 1963In 1963 a movement led by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and by Martin Luther King Jr. marched into Birmingham, Alabama. At the time Birmingham was known as one of the most, if not the most segregated cities in the southern states. There goal was to use non-violent demonstrations and make a stand to fight laws that were unfair to African Americans. The thinking was if they could successfully fight segregation in Birmingham, then it would help them fight it everywhere else.

I chose to write about the March on Birmingham, because as I learned more about it I was more amazed at how dedicated these people protesting were. They were, not surprisingly, met with police brutality led by one of the most famous supporters of segregation, Eugene “Bull” Connor. Police violently tried to discontinue these protests and sit-ins with jailings, beatings, police dogs, and even used fire hoses to break them up. The demonstrators did not retaliate however and continued to use their non violent demonstrations.

What also amazed me while learning about this, was not only how, but who was part of these demonstrations. Of course there were the leaders of the movement including Martin Luther King Jr. (who was also arrested here), but once in Birmingham they recruited students not only from high school but even from Elementary Schools. Young children participated in all of these movements and yet were still subject to the police brutality. They were however successful in their movement, by attracting much media attention and slowly began desegregation, and even resulted in Eugene “Bull” Connor losing his job.

*** for more on this topic, see…
We have a Movement” excerpt in Free At Last – The U.S. Civil Rights Movement, “America.gov,” U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs. Accessed 19 November 2010. http://www.america.gov/publications/books-content/free-at-last.html.

by becca

Kentucky Forefathers of New York’s Rev. William A. Jones, Jr.

November 4, 2010 in 1960s-1970s, Genealogy

I began looking up different churches in Lexington that were around during the Civil Rights Movement. I came across a website and found Rev. William A. Jones, Jr.’s name, so I decided to look up more about him. Google was overflowing with information and articles about him – born in Louisville and growing up in Lexington – so I decided to take a look.

Rev. Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr. (1934-2006)

Rev. Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr. (1934-2006)

Before his death, Jones eventually had a 5,000 member church in Brooklyn. Reverend Jones was the grandson of the late Reverend Dr. Henry Wise Jones, Sr., of Green Street Baptist Church (in Louisville) and the son of the Reverend Dr. William Augustus Jones, Sr., of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, Lexington.

Reverend William A. Jones, Sr., KY Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Reverend William A. Jones, Sr. (1907-1968)

Reverend Jones, Sr. (1907-1968) was a very influential voice during the Civil Rights Movement and was the advisor of the Lexington chapter of CORE, or Congress of Racial Equality. It was in part because of Reverend Jones Sr. that the first African American City Councilman, Harry N. Sykes, was elected in Lexington.  He stood out publicly in opposition to the closing of Dunbar High School where hist children had graduated. After he died, Rev. Jones, Sr. was also the first African American to be buried in the Lexington Cemetery, which before had only been for white people.

The three generations of Rev. Jones are great to learn more about considering how many firsts they accomplished and helped to accomplish for the black community, not only in Kentucky, but in other parts of the country also.

by Syle

A Successful Activist: Ella Baker

October 14, 2010 in 1950s-1960s, Political history, Social history

Ella Baker was a very prominent and successful leader. She was part of many important groups and worked along side many of the biggest names during the civil rights era. Her grandmother was a slave, and growing up she would listen to stories of slave revolts. She graduated college from Shaw University, as the valedictorian of her class. Afterwards she went on to do great things as an activist and became a great leader.

Ella Baker was part of many well known groups that were essential to the Civil Rights movement. She did much of her work behind the scenes and was even responsible for some of these groups starting in the first place. She started her work with teh NAACP and spent much of her life working with them. Much more noteworthy however, she was part of the reason the Southern Christian Leadership Conference even began. She became the first staffmember for the SCLC and was so for long time. While working with the SCLC she worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King who was the first president of the organization. During her career she also helped jumpstart the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and began working with them for many years.

Ella Baker was a very important woman for the Civil Rights Movement, even though she did much of her work behind the scenes. Starting these organizations shows the kind of leader she was and her desire to make things equal. She worked with many people such as Dr. Martin Luther King, W.E.B. Dubois, and Anne Braden. But has also been noted as being a mentor for other people such as Rosa Parks. Ella Baker was an amazing woman with a lot of drive and was a very key part of the Civil Rights Movement.

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