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Negro Student Demonstrators Expelled or Suspended in Birmingham

May 20, 1963 - The Board of Education of Birmingham, Alabama today ordered the expulsion or suspension of some 1,100 Negro students who had been arrested in anti-segregation demonstrations. Integration leaders immediately urged Birmingham’s 21,877 other Negro students to withdraw in sympathy. However, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. later canceled the boycott following a meeting with his aides. Dr. King, leader of mass demonstrations in the Southern steel center for five weeks, said a court suit would be filed to seek reinstatements of the students. He and other Negro leaders urged those not affected to attend classes tomorrow and those expelled or suspended to remain home and study. Dr. King also asked Negroes to refrain from seeking service at white lunch counters despite the Supreme Court’s ruling today holding state enforcement of segregation in such facilities as unconstitutional. He told his followers they should abide by a timetable established under a token desegregation agreement reached 10 days ago with white business and industrial leaders. It provides for desegregation of eating facilities in 5 downtown department and variety stores within 90 days of the settlement.


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