Bull Connor was the Commissioner of Public Safety in Birmingham, Alabama from 1957 to 1963. A racist who fought to uphold segregation, he used aggressive tactics to intimidate Black protestors working with Dr. King and the movement for racial equality. Dr. King and his fellow organizers saw Bull Connor as a major obstacle in the push for desegregation, but they managed to weaponize Connor’s own aggressive tactics against him by using nonviolent direct action. For instance, when Connor ordered his men to sic dogs on peaceful protestors or spray them with pressure hoses, the aggressive nature of his orders attracted attention from the national media, spotlighting the police’s unjust treatment of nonviolent Black citizens. In 1963, Connor ran for mayor but lost to Albert Boutwell, yet another segregationist. After refusing to leave his post after the election, Connor was eventually ordered out of office.
Eugene “Bull” Connor (Bull Connor) Character Timeline in Why We Can’t Wait
The timeline below shows where the character Eugene “Bull” Connor (Bull Connor) appears in Why We Can’t Wait. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Bull Connor’s Birmingham
...Birmingham. Shuttlesworth’s goal was to address inequality in Birmingham and to put an end to Bull Connor ’s racist reign over the city. The ACHR was part of the Southern Christian Leadership... (full context)
...remembered there was a local election taking place on March 5th. The top candidates were Bull Connor , Albert Boutwell, and Tom King. All of them were segregationists, and because Dr. King... (full context)
...because there was no clear winner, meaning that there would be a run-off election between Bull Connor and Albert Boutwell in early April. Once again, Dr. King and the others were forced... (full context)
Chapter 4: New Day in Birmingham
...Boutwell’s administration the chance to bring about change, hoping he would be more just than Bull Connor . What’s more, some leaders were offended that Dr. King and his associates hadn’t consulted... (full context)
...that the police were relatively restrained in their use of force. Dr. King suspects that Bull Connor had recognized that responding violently would look bad (though he also notes that this nonviolence... (full context)
Chapter 6: Black and White Together