The non-violent marches and movement actions were tested In places like Alabama, Mississippi and Washington. These non-violent marches many times were meant with violence being perpetrated by the oppressors, not the oppressed and that was an incredibly powerful message and an incredibly important tool during the movement. In Selma, Alabama on Sunday, March 7, 1965 African American Congressman John Lewis led the march for voting rights which is remembered as “Bloody Sunday’. Recounting that day; “They came toward s, beating us with night sticks, trampling us with horses and releasing tear gas,” said Lewis. L was hit in the head by a State trooper with a night stick. I had a concussion on the bridge and I thought I was going to die. ” In August 1963 thousands of African Americans and whites gathered for the March on Washington. It was peaceful with no arrests. However, just weeks after the March on Washington, horror struck in Birmingham, Alabama when a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church during Sunday school classes. Killing four young girls and injuring 23 others. The demonstration of hate and violence by the oppressors on helpless victims was traumatizing to its victims and America.
Images of bombings, police using attack dogs and fire hoses to disperse protesters (African American, White American and school children) and terrorist acts were broadcast around the world. Many African Americans where outrages and wanted to retaliate. They no longer believed in DRP. King’s philosophy and felt that his approach was too passive and didn’t understand the power of non- violence. As the African Americans endured the violent attacks by the bigots King, although pained by the attacks, urged them not to resort to violence in return.
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He states that must demonstrate love for our fellow man even while condemning segregationists’ evil acts of discrimination. In that way, we will dramatist the injustice of segregation and convince separatists of the immorality of racist views. Non violence was the tool that would help to bring about legal change by gaining the support of the moderate White Americans. When they saw African Americans being violently victimized as well as other White Americans by racist segregationists it would move these moderates to support the cause.
No longer could the hate of the segregationist be kept hidden as they revealed their bigotry and racism for the entire world to see they also speed up the process of change on a legislative level which later aided in the fight for legal equality. The Non violent movement was a long grueling mission. Many sacrificed their lives with the vision of a better tomorrow. The movement was successful in bringing the stain of the injustices to the forefront for America to anally address loud and clear.