-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1963, the African American community in Birmingham, Alabama sought to break down the barriers of segregation. Children and teenagers picked up where the adults left off, giving the Civil Rights movement new life. The purpose of the movement, known as "Project C" for "confrontation, was to fill the jails through arrests from marches and demonstrations. The black community believed their voices would be heard if the government was overwhelmed. When the adults backed down in fear of what would happen to their families if they went to jail, the children bravely faced off against injustice.
In WE'VE GOT A JOB, Cynthia Levinson retells the events around four participants: The youngest, Audrey, was only nine years old at the time of the marches, Wash, the one who had to be restrained from using violence, and James and Arnetta , teenage activists trained in nonviolent methods. These four children joined thousands of other young people at the beginning of May 1963, to stand up against inequality. The poignant courage of the young activists and the raw racial hatred of their oppressors, brings to surface feelings of awe and admiration; bewilderment and anger, for those of us born after the Civil Rights movement or too young to remember the gripping details of the era.
The resulting aftermath, including the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and the update of the current lives of the four activists bring the historically significant events to full circle. I was deeply moved by Levinson's telling of the events through interviews, research and photos. I'm embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of children's marches before reading We've Got a Job. I closed the book with a deep admiration not only for the participants of the marches, but also the author for wanting to make sure the stories were not lost on new generations. I'm giving the highest honor and recommendation, very rare on my blog, to this book, highly recommended with star, and hope that every child and teen will read it. (Nonfiction ages 11-15) I think the age should be 11 and up, as adults will be deeply touched as well.
- Publisher: Peachtree (Feb. 1, 2012)
- Pages: 176
- ISBN 13: 978-1-56145-627-7
- ISBN 10: 1-56145-627-6
**Disclosure: I received the book at no charge from the publisher for review purposes only. This in no way influenced by opinion about the book. I was never asked to give a positive review nor do I accept books for review if I am asked to give any opinion that is not my own.