In spring 1963, African American civil rights activists in Alabama started the Birmingham campaign, a series of sit-ins, boycotts and marches against segregation laws. The peaceful demonstrations were met with violence, teargas and police dogs. The events were a turning point in the civil rights movement, making front-page news around the world. The Observer dispatched photographer Colin Jones to cover the story and capture the activism centred around the 16th Street Baptist church. Many of these images, discovered in the Observer’s picture archive, have never before been published.
Comedian and activist Dick Gregory talks to members of the press in Birmingham on 9 May., Photo Credit, Colin Jones
At a press conference on 8 May, people listen to five teenagers tell the media about their arrests and mistreatment at the hands of the police., Photo Credit, Colin Jones
A group of men in Kelly Ingram Park, opposite the 16th Street Baptist church., Photo Credit, Colin Jones