Dr. King’s Twelve Crusades
Montgomery Crusade: Mrs Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus and refused to move to the rear of the bus when asked to do so. She was arrested because African Americans were not allowed to sit in the front of the buses. The boycott, under Dr. King’s direction lasted 381 days and was a mass protest that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.
Sit-ins Crusade: American college students began a nonviolent and dignified movement in 1960 across the South where food and drink were served in stores. The students braved confrontation by police, tear gas, and jail sentences, which at times were very violent. This historic movement was probably one of the most significant developments in the civil rights movement.
Atlanta Crusade: Dr. King was unjustly jailed in Atlanta for a minor violation and was sentenced to six months in jail in Atlanta. He was transferred in the middle of the night and chained to the floor. Robert Kennedy interceded and got him releases.
Albany Crusade: Albany, Georgia was a bastion of segregation. The Freedom Riders Movement started by a group of eleven was formed and worked for over a year, during which time hundreds of people from every walk of life went to jail. Although it was only a partial victory, they succeeded in changing Albany.
Birmingham Crusade: This city was the epitome of segregation in America. African Americans were totally disenfranchised in this industrial city. African Americans were totally disenfranchised of the rights by the U.S. Constitution. The desegregation experienced in Birmingham was the toughest in the nation.
Washington Crusade: The March on Washington, where the”I Have a Dream” speech was made, was the most significant and dramatic demonstration for freedom and justice in the history of the U.S.
St. Augustine Crusade: There, in our nation’s oldest city, the most corrupt coalition of segregation of Ku Klux Klan was located in the area. The savage violence, brutality and lawlessness of the police exceeded violence that was endured in Birmingham. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested and others were injured by the Klan’s wielding weapons. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Mississippi Crusade: Along with the economic exploitation that the whole state of Mississippi inflicted upon the African-American, there was the ever present problem of physical violence. A team of over a thousand white students and local African-Americans radically changed the oppressive way of life.
Selma Crusade: The is where unarmed, nonviolent voting rights marchers were severely beaten by the Alabama State Police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in a brutal confrontation.
Watts Crusade: This crusade occurred in California where there was widespread racial violence in Los Angeles. Dr. King condemned the riots that occurred because he always felt violence was not the answer to social conflict.
Chicago Crusade: Dr. King moved to the slums of Chicago to personally experience and live with slum dwellers to feel the same pain as his black brothers. He became very discouraged by the conditions of life for African-Americans in that city.
Memphis Crusade: Dr. King was assassinated on the evening of April 4, 1968, in Memphis, where he had planned another crusade. His death was a great loss to the country. Had he lived on to continue his campaign for human equality in our country, our society might be quite different today. Although African-Americans enjoy the freedoms that White Americans enjoy, one can still detect a feeling of racism upon occasion. We must all strive to continue his dream, so that we can all live as brothers and sisters.
Sterl Pettis – Graphics & Design
David Chase – Photography
Millie Robinson – Editor