Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March

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

Spring 2012 Non-Fiction
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Cynthia Levinson
ISBN: 978-1-56145-627-7
Hardcover Price: $19.95

The African-Americans of Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, were called "colored." A powerful, violent coalition of white supremacists led by Theophilus Eugene Connor, known as "Bull," enforced draconian segregation laws. Bull was commissioner of public safety, meaning that he oversaw the police and fire departments, public schools, libraries and the health department. The leadership of the black community was primarily in the hands of the clergy. They were committed to non-violence, and they were not dependent upon the white community. Any black adults who participated in peaceful demonstrations could lose everything from their jobs to their lives. Most had families that were dependent upon them. While these adults could not afford to be jailed for long periods, the civil rights movement was at a pivotal stage, and the leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., were growing desperate. "The future of the movement seemed to hinge on what happened in Birmingham."

Recognizing what was at stake, thousands of black children rose up and stepped into the breach. They were trained in nonviolence. They left schools in droves and marched. They were attacked and arrested by the police. They filled up the jails, and they suffered. Ultimately, the back of segregation was broken, not by adults, but by these heroic children.

In understated but spell-binding prose, Levinson brings into focus this basically overlooked facet of history. Using the device of the personal experiences of four of these children, nine-year-old, Audrey Faye Hendricks, and young teenagers Washington Booker III, James Stewart, Arnetta Streeter, the author reveals the many complex strands that made up this important, pivotal period at the heart of the civil rights movement. With appropriately placed, informative sidebars, this is a significant book.

Kemie Nix   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Look for this product at:
Peachtree Publishers

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