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«Kelly Ingram Park was the gathering place for peaceful protests in the 1960s and is the gathering place for peaceful reflections today. Once known as ...»

Samantha Elliott Briggs, Ph.D.

Kelly Ingram Park was the gathering place for peaceful protests in the 1960s and is the

gathering place for peaceful reflections today. Once known as West Park, Kelly Ingram

sits on a 4-acre lot in the Birmingham Civil Rights District, just across the street from

both the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Baptist Church.

The Park oftentimes served as a gathering place for protestors, given its proximity to

the area churches, however it was the Children’s Crusade of 1963 that is most significant. As the jails became swollen with child protestors, those remaining gathered in the park and sang songs to keep their spirits lifted and the momentum going. The Civil Rights Memorial Vets (www.crmvets.org) recall singing the word “freedom” in the tune of the old African American spiritual, Amen!

In response to their firm standing, then police commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor attacked the children with German Shepherds and high powered water hoses. This senseless violence against innocent children was too much for the nation to ignore.

Today, Kelly Ingram Park serves as a place of remembrance, paying tribute to the martyrs via nine sculptures that tell their story to bring justice to “Bombingham.” In addition, Kelly Ingram Park plays host to a variety of annual community events that have a common theme of unity.

Proximity, swollen, momentum, spiritual, police commissioner, German Sheppard, remembrance, martyr Grade Level (Upper, Middle, Lower) All Grades 812016

The Students Will:

 Become familiar with the significance of Kelly Ingram Park as an Alabama landmark.

 Recognize the statues located in the park as representations of lived experience.

 Compare park statues with real life events.

One class period.

Computers with Internet access, copies of the Kelly Ingram Park Walking Tour brochure (optional), writing materials, picture analysis form The teacher should create larger reproductions of the images found at the end of this lesson and gather all other materials necessary. The images can be copied from this plan or from the websites listed in the reference section. One could also do an Internet search for “Kelly Ingram Park images” and locate similar ones. For presentation purposes, the images can be printed out or can be inserted into a computer publishing document like Power Point.

Some of the information in this lesson comes from the Kelly Ingram Park Audio Walking Tour. The tour is operated by telephone, and could very well be heard from your remote location. In advance of this lesson, try dialing the number, 1-205-307-5455, to see if you can pick up the tour. When prompted, begin by pressing the #1 to hear the story about “Ground Zero.” At the sound of the church bell on the recording, move on to the next statue. This lesson is based on images #1-6 and #8, which is of Dr. King.

Should the telephone number not work for you, try contacting the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.inbirmingham.com or of course, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute at www.bcri.org.

812016  Without much warning, in an attempt to collect the most organic responses, present the images of Kelly Ingram Park statues to the students.

 Displaying the pictures one at a time, ask students what they think the image represents. Begin with the least obvious picture (like the Water Cannon) and move your way towards the more obvious (like The Foot Soldiers and Dr. M.L.

King, Jr.).

 Next, engage the students in a dialogue about the images and what they actually represent based on the information found at the end of this lesson. If you are able to connect to the audio tour of Kelly Ingram Park, dial the number and allow the students to listen to the story.

 Once you have thoroughly discussed the images presented, have students use the Internet to access real life pictures that represent the same situation depicted in the statue.

 Have students fold a blank sheet of paper (blank typing paper or notebook paper). On the left side have them write “statue” and on the left hand side right “life.” On the left column have them write the name of each statue.

 Next, have students conduct a photo analysis by comparing and contrasting each image. For the “Foot Soldiers” students should write their impression of the statue on one side and a real life image of dogs attacking protestors on the right

side. Students should answer the following three questions:

1. What three things might you infer from these two photographs?

–  –  –

Students should be evaluated on their ability to find real life pictures that represent those of the statues. They should also be evaluated on their overall thoughtfulness and critique of the two sets of images.

812016 Students can write a reflective journal entry based on one or all of the images. They should try to imagine themselves living in Birmingham during 1963 being the same age they are now. They should honestly discuss if they could be as brave and disciplined as the youth were during that time, and why or why not.

Students can write or illustrate their reaction to one or more of the images.

Civil Rights Movement Vets: 1963, January to June http://www.crmvet.org/tim/timhis63.htm#1963bham

Images came from the following sites:

http://familytravelsonabudget.com/attractions/kelly-ingram-park/ http://ourheritagemagazine.com/birmingham%E2%80%99s-civil-rights-district/ http://uwo2012asb.blogspot.com/p/tennessee-alabama.html

–  –  –

Kelly Ingram Park is known as “Ground Zero” of the 1963 civil rights struggle in Birmingham.When African Americans resolved to fight the oppression of Jim Crow segregation with peaceful protests, they were met with a violent response.

–  –  –

May 2, 1963, was known as “D-Day” (or Ditch Day) as more than 1,000 students ditched school and marched on downtown, gathering at the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Morethan 600 children were jailed that day. The following day, another 1,000 students arrived, filling Kelly Ingram Park. Bull Connor replied to their peaceful protest and uplifiting songs with brutal violence.

812016 Once jails were filled to capacity with school children, hundreds more remained in Kelly Ingram Park. In an attempt to disperse the crowd, Bull Connor ordered they be hosed down. When the children remained standing, Connor ordered “monitor guns,” high powered water hoses with enough force to knock bricks out of a wall from 100 ft away. The peaceful children rolled down the street like tumbleweeds from the water’s strength. The Nation could no longer turn a blind eye. President Kennedy stepped in.

812016 The clergy were the center of the non-violent campaign against injustice throughout the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to come to Birmingham to join the local fight. Additional clergy from both in-state and out-of-state, including rabbis, helped organize the efforts, carry out the plan, and maintain faith among the weary.

812016 Kelly Ingram Park: A Walk Through the Struggle Lesson Plan - Standards Lesson Plan developed by Samantha Elliott Briggs, Ph.D.

Grade Level – All Grades THIRD GRADE Standard 11. Identify significant historical sites in Alabama, including locations of Civil Rights activities.

 Birmingham—Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, etc.


Standard 14. Standard 14. Describe the social, political, and economic impact of the modern Civil Rights Movement on Alabama.

• Identifying important people and events of the modern Civil Rights Movement Examples: people—Martin Luther King, Jr., George C. Wallace, Rosa Parks; events— Montgomery bus boycott, Birmingham church bombing, Selma-to-Montgomery march

• Identifying benefits of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act SIXTH GRADE Standard 13.. Describe the role of major civil rights leaders and significant events occurring during the modern Civil Rights Movement. Examples: civil rights leaders— Rosa Parks; Martin Luther King, Jr.; events—Brown versus Board of Education;

Montgomery bus boycott; student sit-ins; march on Washington, D.C.; Freedom Rides;

Civil Rights Act of 1964; Malcolm X; voter registration efforts; Selma-to-Montgomery march.

812016 SEVENTH GRADE – Citizenship Standard 11. Compare changes in social and economic conditions in the United States during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

 Tracing the political and social impact of the modern Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to the present, including Alabama’s role. Extension to consider the impact.


Standard 14.. Describe examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence of groups, societies, and nations, using past and current events.

 Tracing the political and social impact of the modern Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to the present, including Alabama’s role. Extension to consider the impact.

Standard 15.. Trace events of the modern Civil Rights Movement from post-World War II to 1970 that resulted in social and economic changes, including the Montgomery bus boycott, the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, the march on Washington, and the Freedom Rides.

 Tracing the federal government’s involvement in the modern Civil Rights Movement, including the abolition of the poll tax, the desegregation of the armed forces, the nationalization of state militias, Brown versus Board of Education, the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965  Explaining contributions of individuals and groups to the modern Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr., James Meredith, Medgar Evers, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)  Identifying people and events in Alabama that influenced the modern Civil Rights Movement, including Rosa Parks, Autherine Lucy, John Patterson, George C. Wallace, Vivian Malone, Fred Shuttlesworth, the Children’s March, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and the Selma-to-Montgomery march  Describing the development of a Black Power movement, including the change in focus of the SNCC, the rise of Malcolm X, and Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panther Movement  Describing the impact of African-American entrepreneurs on the modern Civil Rights Movement Examples: S. B. Fuller, A. G. Gaston

812016Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12

Standard 7. Integration of information from Walking Tour, sculptures, and original photographs.

Grades 6-8. Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Grades 9-10. Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts).

Grades 11-12. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12

Standard 7.

Grades 6-8. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a selfgenerated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

Grades 9-10. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Grades 11-12. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Comprehension and Collaboration [SL.6-12.1] Engage [initiate and participate – grades 9-12] effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Information from Walking Tour, sculptures, and original photographs.

812016 [SL.6.2] Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

[SL.7.2] Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study. With extensions to lesson plan.

[SL.8.2.] Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation. With extensions to lesson plan.

[SL.9-12.2] Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally), [in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, - grades 11-12] evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source [and noting any discrepancies among the data – grades 11-12]. With extensions to lesson plan.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use [L.6-8.6]. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domainspecific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.


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