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Before the March


On Wednesday, April 3, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. announced a new plan, called Project C; the “C” stood for Confrontation. Black adults and college students would confront white Birmingham again and again, hoping to be arrested. King reasoned that if enough protesters were arrested, they would fill the jails and overwhelm Connor’s ability to enforce segregation laws.

Volunteers would order food at segregated lunch counters, kneel and pray in segregated parks, and picket stores that maintained segregated dressing rooms.

From the beginning of Project C, the numbers of people volunteering to be arrested were discouragingly low.

April 1963

By mid-April fewer than two hundred people had been arrested—nowhere near enough to fill the jails. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people were flocking to nightly mass meetings. Why were so few of them willing to walk down the aisle and volunteer for Project C?

Segregation | Government | Project C