Audrey Faye Hendricks is the youngest known child to be arrested during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963, at just 9 years old, Hendricks marched with other children in Birmingham, Alabama to protest segregation. She was arrested and held in custody for 7 days.
Young Hendricks was born into a family that was very involved in the Movement for Human Rights, so she was no stranger to activism. She wanted to join the Children’s Crusade being organized to support the Civil Rights Movement and stand up for equality and justice. The children were trained by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to protest peacefully and never respond to the police or white segregationists with violence. During the first week of May, in 1963, thousands of children were arrested for marching peacefully to protest the Jim Crow Laws that discriminated against African-American citizens.
Among the youngest to march was Audrey Faye Hendricks. The children gathered at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama in the morning or May 2st, 1963. They waked a half a block before they were all arrested. Hendricks was held for 7 days, her parents were not allowed to see her or have contact with her. The Children’s Crusade continued for several days with new waves of youth. They were meet with more arrests and police brutality.
People all over America saw photographs of young nonviolent marchers being abused and arrested by the Birmingham police and were outraged. The city felt pressure and knew that something had to be done. The White city leaders came to an agreement with the Civil Rights leaders, which ended legal segregation in Birmingham.
These children helped move a mountain of discrimination. Audrey Faye Hendricks, at age 9, helped accomplished so much with her bravery and conviction. We honor this truly amazing human being.
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