A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Margaret Mahy (Bubble Trouble), Michael Foreman (War Game), Peter Catalanotto (Ivan the Terrier), and Lisa Desimini (How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Phyllis McGinley (1905â€“1978) The Year without a Santa Claus, and David Wisniewski (1953â€“2002), Golem.
- The first United States zoo! In 1859, the charter estabilishing the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was approved and signed. Read The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White.
- On this day in 1928, Charles Lindbergh was presented with Medal of Honor, the highest accolade a United States Citizen can receive, in acknowledgment of his trans-Atlantic flight of 1927. Read Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero by James Cross Giblin.
On March 21, 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began the five-day protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabamaâ€”a triumphant event in the Civil Rights Movement. A few months later the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, outlawing literacy tests and other measures used to keep African Americans from registering to vote.
A remarkable book came out in 2009, Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Donâ€™t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge, which explores in vivid detail the eight tumultuous months in 1965 that ended with the Voting Rights Act. On January 2 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Selma: â€śWeâ€™re not on our knees begging for the ballot. We are demanding the ballot.â€ť On March 7, Bloody Sunday, troopers turned tear gas and billy clubs on peaceful marchers. By the time readers come to the events of March 21, they completely understand what is at stakeâ€”and just how brutal the fight for voting rights was.
Partridge tells this story through the eyes of the children and young adults who experienced the events. The book begins with the first arrest of a ten-year-old Joanne Blackmon, who goes with her grandmother as she tries to register to vote. In photographs and personal stories, Partridge puts a human face on the events of 1965. Although the freedom fighters know they can be beaten, even killed, they persist. In a calm, even voice Partridge lays out the events and issues, using stunning photographs, many rarely seen, along with freedom songs and chants, to round out the presentation.
Powerful, inspiring, and moving, the book not only presents information but also raises ethical questions. How could American citizens be denied their rights? How could white officials and the Klu Klux Klan be allowed to spread fear and violence in these communities?Â
A perfect book for family or classroom discussion, Marching for Freedom also reminds adults and children that young people can challenge their society and change laws. Partridge ends the saga with these words, â€śHundreds of students put themselves a risk to change American voting lawsâ€¦With only their songs and faith for protection, they believed they could make a difference. And they did.â€ť
Hereâ€™s a page from Marching for Freedom:
Originally posted March 21, 2011. Updated for .