What are the similarities of Birmingham campaign, and March on Washington: campaigns for peace made by Martin Luther King Jr.?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Both the March on Washington and the Birmingham campaign of 1963 were mass demonstrations for civil rights. They were both intended to gain national attention for the cause, and they were both explicitly non-violent. But the Birmingham campaign was more of a direct action against segregation, and was undertaken with the expectation that area authorities would react with violence. The March on Washington was approved beforehand by Washington authorities, including the Kennedy Administration, which actually persuaded the marchers to tone down radical aspects of their message. (It should be noted, however, that Martin Luther King did not organize the march, A. Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin did.) However, both events generated memorable documents of the civil rights movement. King's "I Have a Dream" speech and his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," became synonymous with the aims and philosophy of the civil rights movement, and a major part of its legacy. 


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