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Velshi: 'Project C' - Birmingham’s plan for change


In 1963, members of the Civil Rights protests had begun to pressure Birmingham’s business leaders to open employment to Blacks, and end segregation in public institutions. When local business and governmental leaders resisted, a movement called Project C began - The ‘C’ stood for ‘confrontation.’ Project C was an elaborate plan to use non-violent protests to draw attention to Birmingham’s Civil Rights abuses. The strategy was mostly effective. However, the changes brought increased violence with attacks from angry segregationists. On September 15, 1963, 19 sticks of dynamite exploded right outside a basement window of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The explosion killed four girls who had been in the church basement and 22 other victims suffered injuries. Nearly 58 years later, the 16th Street Baptist Church stands as a reminder in quiet defiance of everything it witnessed. The wounds in Birmingham are deep, but they are healing.