“a central staging ground for the Civil Rights Movement's demonstrations”
Kelly Ingram Park, formerly West Park, is a four acre (16,000 m²) park located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is bounded by 16th and 17th Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues North in the Birmingham Civil Rights District. The park, just outside the doors of the 16th Street Baptist Church, served as a central staging ground for large-scale demonstrations during the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Birmingham, site of the first mass beatings of freedom riders, was selected by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) for a massive protest campaign. Kelly Ingram Park (historically known as West Park), was an assembly point for participants in the SCLC's Project "C," (for Confrontation)--sit-ins, boycotts, marches, and jailings designed to end segregation in Birmingham. Under the on site direction of SCLC President Martin Luther King, Jr., and local SCLC affiliate Fred Shuttlesworth, department stores were targeted for boycotts and protest marches organized. Dr. King was arrested and held in solitary confinement for three days, during which he wrote, smuggled out of jail, and had printed his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," a profoundly moving justification for the moral necessity of non-violent resistance to unjust laws.
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Kelly Ingram Park
- Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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