Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birmingham, 1963

Birmingham, 1963
Carole Boston Weatherford

The day I turned ten
Our church was quiet. No meetings, no marches.
Mama left me in Sunday school
With a soft kiss and coins for the offering plate.

With a seemingly simple free verse poem, Carole Boston Weatherford has brought us compelling account of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church that killed four young girls. Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement and of the aftermath of the bombing illustrate the pages.

This is an incredibly moving book. Even though I read it in five minutes, I found myself going back, re-reading, and carefully studying the photographs. I learned things too – I had no idea that children were so important in the Birmingham marches. I cannot imagine sending either of my daughters out to march in such a volatile situation, yet 2,500 children participated. The notes on the photographs were also informative.

This is going to be a great book to use with students. They are going to connect with both the words and the photographs.

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