March from Selma 1965

The video below describes the events of the March from Selma 1965 and its consequences.

Martin Luther King organised a march from Selma to Birmingham, Alabama, which began on 7 March 1965 with around 600 marchers taking part.

When the marchers reached the outskirts of Selma they were attacked by state troopers and local police.

The day became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. King and his supporters staged another march along the same route on 21 March.

Once in Birmingham, King gave a speech to a gathered crowd of 25,000. Later that day, a white 39 year old civil rights campaigner, Viola Liuzzo had been murdered.

Riots 1964 to 1967

By the mid-1960s, the civil rights movement began to concentrate on black people living in ghettos in northern cities.

Watts Riots, Los Angeles 1965

The population of the Watts district of Los Angeles was almost entirely black, while the police force was almost entirely white.

Burning buildings during the Watts riots, August 1965
Many buildings were burned in the riots

In August of 1965. police stopped a young black man for drunk driving, which started the riots.

These riots lasted for six days, 34 people were killed, 900 injured and 4000 of those involved were arrested.

Chicago Riots 1966

Many of the black people lived in overcrowded areas of the city.

In one incident, police had to shut off a fire hydrant that had been opened by youths to cool down during the hot weather.

A fight soon broke out and some violence followed – windows were smashed and shops looted. The violence grew into a full scale riot. The next night, rioters us petrol bombs and guns.

Turn to Black Power

Many people in the northern cities believed that non-violence did not work.

The civil rights movement began to split in the 1960s. Some decided that a much more aggressive approach was required – which they named Black Power.

From around 1964 onwards black leaders such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael brought in the ideas of self-defence and aggression.

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