1963. Birmingham, Alabama. Four young African American girls were killed in the firebombing of a church. Dr. Martin Luther King began a series of peaceful protests that were opposed by Birmingham’s Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull O’Connor who directed the police to turn their water hoses on the demonstrators.
To raise awareness, Dr. King scheduled a benefit concert that took place on the grounds of an African-American school that included such artists as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis. Dr. Billy Taylor served as the host and musical director for the concert.