Kelly Ingram Park
Kelly Ingram Park is located in downtown Birmingham, AL. It's within steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church, and served as a staging ground for large-scale demonstrations during the American Civil Rights Movement of the '60s.
Reverends Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fred Shuttlesworth of the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) directed the boycotts and protests of 1963 which centered on Kelly Ingram Park. It was here, during the first week of May 1963, that Birmingham police and firemen, under orders from Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor, confronted demonstrators, many of them children, first with mass arrests and then with police dogs and powerful, painful streams of water from firehoses. Images from those confrontations, broadcast nationwide, spurred a public outcry which turned the nation's attention to the struggle for racial equality. Without a doubt, images that helped ensure the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Throughout the park there are three installations by artist James Drake which flank a circular "Freedom Walk". They give visitors a feeling of what terror it must have been to be caught in those shameful 1963 confrontations.
See it large.