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Birmingham Campaign


In April 1963 King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) joined with Birmingham, Alabama’s existing local movement, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) in a massive direct action campaign to attack the city’s segregation system by putting pressure on Birmingham’s merchants during the Easter season, the second biggest shopping season of the year. As ACMHR founder Fred Shuttlesworth stated in the group’s ‘‘Birmingham Manifesto,’’ the campaign was ‘‘a moral witness to give our community a chance to survive’’ (ACMHR, 3 April 1963).


Document: Associated Press. Photo of Martin Luther King, Jr., 13 April 1963.

Document: King, Martin Luther, Jr. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," 16 April 1963.

Document: Carson, Clayborne (2001). The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Chapter 19: Freedom Now.