May 3, 2012
Police Brutality Turns Civil Rights Tide
Encyclopedia of Alabama, Encyclopedia of Alabama
The climax of the modern civil rights movement occurred in Birmingham. The city's violent response to the spring 1963 demonstrations against white supremacy forced the federal government to intervene on behalf of race reform. City Commissioner T. Eugene "Bull" Connor's use of police dogs and fire hoses against nonviolent black activists, led by Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Martin Luther King, Jr., enraged the nation. The public outcry provoked President John F. Kennedy to propose civil rights legislation that became the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act opened America's social, economic, and political system to African Americans
and other minorities, including women, the handicapped, and gays and lesbians. The legislation addressed the principal...
TAGGED: civil rights, Alabama