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Non-Violent Direct Action

             The smog was so thick and black the sunlight cannot get through. Yesterday's newspaper rolls down the street as the wind gently blows, and the white working class tolerates no form of inter-racial mingling. Signs hang in storefronts read, "No Blacks,"" and "White Only."" The toilets, drinking fountains, lunch counters, hotels, dressing rooms, and laundry facilities all have "white- and "colored- sections. No matter where you went there was a white elitist lifestyle, blacks were second-class citizens. This was the common lifestyle in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Being the industrial center of the South, it represented all that was extreme, vicious, and violent.
             By examining the events prior to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s arrest, his time in jail, and the events that occurred immediately after his release, one can see how this case of non-violent direct action lead to a positive social change for the Black American public.
             In the early months of 1963, most public schools in the south were still segregated; even though racial segregation in public schools was invalidated by the Supreme Courts unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954. President Kennedy "viewed civil rights as an issue to be managed rather than a battle his administration would join. The message that emerged from the early years of Kennedy's administration was that segregation represented an unfortunate blot on the nation's freedom record that would fade away with time and quiet behind-the-scenes effort."" Many white Americans agreed with Kennedy's approach in the early sixties, a fact revealed in the press of the day. "Southern segregationists were often portrayed as archaic and destructive figures, but they were frequently paired with Negro civil rights troublemakers."" Most white Americans wanted to stay uninvolved because the civil rights movement was portrayed as an "unholy- mess. However, Martin Luther King Jr.

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