Because African-American adults had to go to work, it was often up to kids and teenagers to stage protests over Civil Rights. Everybody knew it could be dangerous. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worried about that, but he also knew that these children could send a powerful message.
And that's what happened in Selma, Ala., in March of 1965.
Hundreds of men, women, and children marched quietly to the Edmund Pettus Bridge to win the right to vote. Joanne was there, along with state troopers, tear gas, cattle prods, and people determined to turn the protesters back.
But the protesters held steady. They marched despite the danger and were met with violence, but they didn't stop. The march was too important. Joanne Blackmon was badly hurt. Her sister thought she was dead. But when it was over five days later, everyday children like Joanne had helped win the vote.
I found a lot of things to love about "Marching for Freedom," starting with author Elizabeth Partridge's writing.
Partridge doesn't editorialize in this book; she merely lays out facts and tells the story. She did so, she says in the interview at the end of the last CD, because she was amazed at the pictures she found, taken at the Selma March.
And even though this is an audio book, you won't miss a one of those pictures. Included in the box with the CDs is a bonus disc filled with that which inspired Partridge to write this book. Be warned: some of them are very moving...
Then, the pictures are punctuated with an incredible performance by Alan Bomar Jones, who not only reads Partridge's words, but who sings the protest songs that accompanied the protesters more than 45 years ago.
"Marching for Freedom" is probably too scary for young kids, but for children ages 10 and up, I think it's perfect. Start the audio, let them see the pictures, and you'll easily have their attention.