professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Birmingham 1963

As I am weeding books, I always make a stack for ones I missed somehow when they arrived. These little treasures get another chance before heading off to a deserving librarian. Carole Boston Weatherford's heartfelt BIRMINGHAM, 1963, was one of those that saw the light of day today. How pleased I am that I found it. In spare text, Weatherford uses the voice of a girl whose tenth birthday is marred by the church tragedy in Alabama. Here is a sample:

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...

The day I turned ten
Someone tucked a bundle of dynamite
Under the church steps, then lit the fuse of hate...

Four final pages are poems in tribute to the girls whose lives were lost in the explosion. Black and white photos show the era's Civil Rights activities. Splashes of red somehow seem portentous. Anyone looking for a book to introduce this topic to kids should look no further.
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