Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March

In this book about the Civil Rights Movement, Cynthia Levinson uses the stories of four young people who participated in the protests of 1963 to tell the story.

Audrey Hendricks was one of the youngest protestors at just nine years old, but that didn't stop her from volunteering to be arrested in support of the Civil Rights Movement.

James Stewart's family was one of the wealthiest black families in Birmingham, and his parents worried that his participation would ruin this bright student's future.

Wash Booker had never even considered getting involved with the movement.  He rarely even went to school, choosing instead to spend his days roaming the countryside, but like the others, he would eventually feel drawn to participate.

Arnetta Streeter participated in the movement against her parents' protests.  She even formed her own student organization and continued showing up for meetings and marches until she was finally arrested.

How did the situation in Birmingham get so bad that children felt compelled to get themselves arrested?  This book follows the story of segregation and racism in Birmingham during a pivotal year in the movement.  You'll need to be patient as you read because the author has to explain the events that led up to the children's march and the key players, but you will be rewarded.  This book opened my eyes to a part of the Civil Rights Movement I knew little about. 

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