In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison’s emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson’s moving and poetic words document this remarkable time.
I couldn’t play on the same playground as the white kids.
I couldn’t go to their schools.
I couldn’t drink from their water fountains.
There were so many things I couldn’t do.
If I were to ask my grandparents about their thoughts on the Civil Rights Movement and the events that took place in May 1963, I know that I will be met with a barrage of varying opinions.
Many of their sentiments are expressed on one particular page. It’s in these few lines that I learned just how difficult this movement was for everyone involved:
‘”If I March” Momma said “I’ll lose my job, sure enough…The weight of the world rested on our parents’ shoulders.” This was something that I have heard over the years expressed via my grandparents and other elderly family members. Somehow seeing it in Let The Children March, placed things into a different light for me.
Reading this story aloud to my own children, brought tears to my eyes, as it did for my 9 year old as well. There is something about the pictures of children marching and doing what needed to be done, that makes me as a parent remain thankful that those families had the strength and wherewithal to stand up for what was right, no matter the cost.
The powerful words are only amplified more by the beautiful artwork from the Legendary Frank Morrison. As a well known graffiti artist, Morrison was also a break dancer for Sugar Hill Gang (how awesome is that?). What his added illustration to Monica Clark-Robinson’s story, adds a dimension and depth that I haven’t seen in recent children’s picture books. The artwork itself evokes a strong emotion, without even reading the words.
If you are interested in picking this book, you can purchase by clicking the photo below.
This post is sponsored, however, all opinions are my own.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.