No where has the role of children in the Civil Rights movement been more poignantly demonstrated than in Birmingham. The Sept. 1963 bombing of the 16th St Baptist Church which killed Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robinson and Cynthia Wesley shocked and outraged people across the country and galvanized the Civil Rights movement. Earlier that year, in May, a Children’s March was organized to walk to city hall to speak with the mayor about segregation in their city. Instead, the infamous police chief Bull Connor ordered firehoses and police dogs set on the teens and children, and are captured in a number of chilling statues in the Kelly Ingram Park just across from the 16th Baptist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum.
TV coverage of those brutal scenes compelled President Kennedy to support Civil Rights legislation.
Display in the Civil Rights Museum of the supposedly “separate but equal” classrooms of the 1950s.