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By May 1963, African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama, had had enough of segregation and police brutality. But with their lives and jobs at stake, most adults were hesitant to protest the city’s racist culture. Instead, children and teenagers—like Audrey, Wash, James, and Arnetta— marched to jail to secure their freedom.
At a time when the civil rights movement was struggling, Birmingham’s black youth answered Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to “fill the jails” of their city. In doing so, they drew national attention to the cause, helped bring about the repeal of segregation laws, and inspired thousands of other young people to demand their rights.
Combining extensive research and in-depth interviews with protesters, Cynthia Levinson recreates the events of the Birmingham Children’s March from a new and very personal perspective.
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Cynthia Levinson holds degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University and also attended the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. A former teacher and educational policy consultant and researcher, she has also published articles in Appleseeds, Calliope, Dig, Faces, and Odyssey. Visit her online at www.cynthialevinson.comReview:
STARRED REVIEW Even with the many fine books out there about the role of young people in the Civil Rights era, this highly
readable photo-essay will hold YA readers with its focus on four young people who participated in the
Birmingham Children s March, set against the big picture of the fight against segregation and the roles of
adults. At nine, Audrey Hendricks was the youngest of nearly 4000 black children who marched,
protested, and sang their way to jail, and she had the support of her church, teachers, and middle-class
parents. Washington Booker lived in poverty in the projects; for him the police were the ultimate terror.
Smart, academic James Stewart chose not to do sit-ins, but marching felt right. Arnetta Streeter went to
young activists training. Important adult leaders on all sides are included in the story, from Martin Luther
King, Jr. and the Reverend Shuttlesworth to Bull Connor, and Levinson points out not just the individuals
with extreme viewpoints, but also the moderates who kept quiet about the insulting separate but equal
policies. The format will hook readers with spacious type, boxed quotes, and large black-and-white photos
on almost every double-page spread, from the horrifying view of the Klan marching with children to the
young protestors waiting to be arrested. A fascinating look at a rarely covered event for both curriculum
and personal interest. Chapter notes, a timeline, and a bibliography conclude.
Hazel Rochman --Booklist
STARRED REVIEW This chronicle of a pivotal chapter of the civil rights movement weaves together the stories of four black children in Birmingham, Ala., who were among some 4,000 who boycotted school to participate in a march to protest segregation. Before recounting that event, during which almost 2,500 young people were arrested and jailed, first-time author Levinson opens with intimate profiles of the four spotlighted children (drawn from interviews she conducted with each of them), along with descriptions of Birmingham s racist laws, corrupt politicians, antiblack sentiment and activists efforts to fight all of the above. Readers also get an upclose view of such leaders as Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights; Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated a nonviolent response; and James Bevel, a preacher who rallied the city s children and teens. Yet the most compelling component is Levinson s dramatic recreation of the courageous children s crusade and the change it helped bring about in the face of widespread prejudice and brutality. Powerful period photos and topical sidebars heighten the story s impact. Ages 10 up. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Feb.) --Publishers Weekly
STARRED REVIEW The author takes her inspiring tale of courage in the face of both irrational racial hatred and adult foot-dragging (on both sides) through the ensuing riots and the electrifying September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church...A moving record of young people rising at a pivotal historical moment, based on original interviews and archival research as well as published sources. --Kirkus
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2012 --Publishers Weekly
STARRED REVIEW Triumph and tragedy in 1963 Bombingham, as children and teens pick up the flagging Civil Rights movement and give it a swift kick in the pants.
Levinson builds her dramatic account around the experiences of four young arrestees including a 9-year-old, two teenage activists trained in nonviolent methods and a high-school dropout who was anything but nonviolent. She opens by mapping out the segregated society of Birmingham and the internal conflicts and low levels of adult participation that threatened to bring the planned jail-filling marches dubbed Project C (for confrontation ), and by extension the entire civil-rights campaign in the South, to a standstill. Until, that is, a mass exodus from the city s black high schools (plainly motivated, at least at first, almost as much by the chance to get out of school as by any social cause) at the beginning of May put thousands of young people on the streets and in the way of police dogs, fire hoses and other abuses before a national audience. The author takes her inspiring tale of courage in the face of both irrational racial hatred and adult foot-dragging (on both sides) through the ensuing riots and the electrifying September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, then brings later lives of her central participants up to date.
A moving record of young people rising at a pivotal historical moment, based on original interviews and archival research as well as published sources. (photos, timeline, endnotes, multimedia resource lists) (Nonfiction. 11-15) --Kirkus
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Book Description Listening Library (Audio). Condition: Good. 6-CD ex-libray audiobook in plastic 2-ring library case. Audio Book - CD. Former Library book. -- with all expected markings. For ex-library material, we grade no better than "good". Stored in sealed plastic protection. In the event of a problem we guarantee full refund. 2012 Former Library book. Audio Book - CD. Seller Inventory # 514574