birmingham 1963

My favourite response to all the talk of riots not doing anything is the contrast between the Birmingham Campaign and the Birmingham Riot in 1963. The former was led by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (mainly Martin Luther King, Fred Shuttlesworth, and James Bevel) and was focused entirely on maintaining nonviolence against whites, although they were willing to attack black people who violated the boycott and destroy the goods they had bought from white-owned businesses. For 5 weeks of protests, with children as young as 8 being attacked by police water cannons and dogs and arrested en masse in order to get the best pictures out to the international press and starve local businesses of profits, they achieved desegregation in a single city. The next night, the KKK bombed the motel where Dr. King had been saying and the black people of the city took to the streets in anger. A cop was stabbed, dozens of buildings were burned, and the army was deployed to police the streets. The prize for that single night of action, as confirmed in declassified White House recordings, was JFK’s support for the landmark legislation that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the first civil rights legislation to pass Congress in nearly 100 years. Tell me, which do you think was more successful?

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.

Injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience at the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

Martin Luther King Jr.  |   Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963

(Source)

The nearly 50-minute film called “An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” is centered around a 10-year-old girl who sees inequality in all directions. That includes police brutality against peaceful African American protesters, young girls being arrested for eating at an all-white lunch counter, and most traumatically the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing.

The movie—which debuts on Oct. 21 on Amazon’s Prime Video in the U.S. and U.K.—is surprisingly bold considering the target audience for American Girl dolls and related content is generally between the ages of 8 and 12. In the film, Melody personally experiences many forms of racism—racist classmates, wrongly being accused of stealing a dress at a department store, and seeing a display of white dolls.

Many themes in the film feel especially relevant to what’s happening in America today, in particular the Black Lives Matter movement that has arisen in the wake of dozens of high-profile murders of African Americans by the police.

The “Melody” film, directed by Tina Mabry and written by Alison McDonald (both African American women), is the latest form of entertainment that the American Girl brand has taken part of since it first launched a television movie back in 2004.

oh my god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2

American Girl: Melody 1963. An Amazon original series. So excited!!! It’s based on the Detroit American Girl Doll, I grew up on these girls and their stories.

“Amazon’s first film in a series of specials inspired by the American Girl doll line pulls no punches. In the first two minutes of the film, which focuses on an African American girl living during the 1960s civil rights movement, the following line is stated: “The moon might be a safer place for a black child to grow up in than America.”

That line is spoken by the protagonist’s grandfather, in one of many tough conversations about racial inequality in America. The nearly 50-minute film called “An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” is centered around a 10-year-old girl who sees inequality in all directions. That includes police brutality against peaceful African American protesters, young girls being arrested for eating at an all-white lunch counter, and most traumatically the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing.”
Available now!

2

HUTCHISON: “How about these escape plans you keep beating about? You got out of one place disguised as policemen.”

BEATLES: “No, no!”

GEORGE: “We didn’t, actually. We put the policemen’s helmets on…”

PAUL: “Just for a laugh, you know.”

GEORGE: “Yeah.”

PAUL: “The policemen said, ‘Aww, let’s have a laugh, and put these helmets…’”

GEORGE: “We jumped out of the van, and you know… The press were there to take the photographs, so we jumped out with the helmets on. So the next day it was…”

PAUL: “The next day you read in the papers…”

GEORGE: “…here they are, disguised.”

-Interview with Stuart Hutchison, Plymouth 13 November 1963

Photos taken at the Hippodrome in Birmingham, 1963

theguardian.com
The Fifth Girl: forgotten survivor of Birmingham Bombing – video
In 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
By Mae Ryan

In 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Sarah Collins Rudolph survived the blast, but her sister Addie Mae and three other girls were killed. Today, Sarah still struggles with the aftermath of the bombing.