Profession: Civil Rights Activist
Why Famous: James Bevel was one of the most prominent members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. that spearheaded non-violent action in the fight for civil rights in the 1960s. Bevel was one of the prime organizational forces behind the 1963 Children's Crusade in Birmingham Alabama protesting against segregation in the city.
He went on to be involved in other important civil rights actions including the Selma voting movement and the Selma to Montgomery marches.
Bevel also became an important anti-Vietnam War protester and was present when King was assassinated in 1968.
In 2008 Bevel was convicted in court on incest charges and died while the case was on appeal.
- 1963-05-02 Children's crusade begins in Birmingham, Alabama. More than 600 African American school children arrested for marching against segregation, organised by James Bevel and the SCLC
- 1965-03-21 Martin Luther King Jr. begins march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama