Skip to main content

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. presenting four demands of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 May 5

@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)


In this WSB newsfilm clip from May 5, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. presents the four demands of the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama, which include desegregation, employment opportunities, and the creation of a biracial negotiating committee. King presents each of the demands in turn; he begins with the desegregation of downtown shopping facilities, including "lunch counters, fitting rooms, the restrooms." He continues with the second proposal that the downtown stores improve employment opportunities for African Americans. Next, he requests that the merchants ask Birmingham officials to drop charges against arrested demonstrators. In his fourth and concluding point, King asks local businessmen to urge the city government to create a biracial committee that would address ongoing African American concerns, such as the integration of the public schools and library. While civil rights efforts in Birmingham led by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) had already been taking place for several years, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) came to Birmingham and joined in even more concentrated efforts that began April 3, 1963. Local merchants, distressed by a longstanding economic boycott that had been targeted towards segregated downtown businesses, embarked on discussions with civil rights leaders at the end of April. Pressure on city officials to negotiate increased substantially after city commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor directed law enforcement officers to disperse young demonstrators with high-pressure fire hoses and dogs. Connor, along with the other city commissioners, was also involved in a legal battle at the time to...
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
View Original At:

Record Contributed By

Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

Record Harvested From

Digital Library of Georgia