Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954 - 1963 - Study Guide Chapter 19, Greenwood and Birmingham Jail, Summary & Analysis

Taylor Branch
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On April 3, 1962, the Birmingham campaign began after the police commissioner threw negotiators out of his office during a meeting in which they had warned him of their planned actions. The campaign began with sit-ins at local lunch counters. Only one of the lunch counters called the police, causing the arrest of twenty-one protestors. Hoping for a good election result the next day, the police commissioner, Bull Connor, expressed disappointment in the lunch counters that had simply closed their restaurants, preventing him from arresting them all. King was disappointed too, sensing reluctance among the Negro community to participate and lack of interest from the press. On April 6, Shuttlesworth was arrested leading the first massive march. King, who had originally planned to get arrested right away, decided to stay behind the scenes, bolstering the internal strength of the campaign...

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