Shifting Violence. White backlash and black riots. Violence. Successful protest action leads to white backlash such as the murders, bombings and protest.
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The activities of the civil rights movement peaked in the ‘long, hot summer’ of 1963. Inevitably, they sparked of more white backlash. Many leaders of the movement became targets for white retaliation.
15 September 1963, Birmingham – 400 negroes were gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church.
Four black girls were changing into their choir robes at the back of the church when a bomb blast occurred.
The four girls were crushed by falling debris from the blast.
The Negro crowd rioted. Six were dead and 17 injured.
Three men, all Klansmen, were arrested. However due to Governor Wallace making early arrests and not allowing federal agents to do it the chance to convict the three men was gone. Instead they were found guilty of illegally possessing dynamite as there was not enough evidence to convict them of the bombing.
1963 – Over 1600 marches, mass meetings and protests nationwide. Many more whites are involved.
Political candidates were forced to either show support for, or opposition against civil rights for negroes.
In the South, Alabama Governor George Wallace became a focal point fro white opposition when he stood in front of the main doors of the University of Alabama to prevent negroes desegregating the university. Wallace believed state legislation should not be overturned by the Federal Government. He was unsuccessful.