Bull Connor and the Freedom Riders
An examination of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama.
This paper discusses Birmingham, AL Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor in 1961 Birmingham, AL. It gives the report on his connections to the KKK and involvement in attacks on the Freedom Riders of 1961 in Birmingham. This paper also tells of segregation in Birmingham and has direct quotes from Connor as well as other authoritative figures in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Movement.
“During the year of 1961 one man managed to turn the universal police motto of “To Protect and Serve” into a mockery. That is, a mockery for a group of African-American students and Civil Rights leaders who were part of an organization called CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) as well as an entire community. This paper will take a look at the CORE sponsored “Freedom Rides” that challenged segregation in interstate travel facilities in Birmingham, Alabama and how then Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene “Bull” Connor was running the police force to the advantage of his personal racial beliefs. That is, to his advantage in opposition to such challenges as those that the Freedom Riders made on segregation. This analysis will expose Connor’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama when the Rides took place and will serve as an illustration of the kind of leadership that encouraged bigotry among the white citizens of Birmingham. It will also illustrate the kind of leadership that promoted love and harmony among the races through peaceful and non-violent protest of Connor’s policies. Through the following summation of historical facts gathered through evidence one can easily see what the harsh reality of segregation was like in Birmingham during 1961 and how it relates to the Civil Rights Movement as a whole as well as Birmingham’s history.”