History is full of untold stories or stories that you hear about and quickly dismiss because they are not 'big' enough to dwell on. Cynthia Levinson takes you to one segment of American history in We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March
where she reveals the battle of desegregation, racism, and prejudice not only with the big leaders like King but also with the young children of Birmingham, Alabama.
The tension between groups in the 1960s over where the blacks should and should not be within society was not minor nor light. It was huge with many people dying. Churches and homes were bombed. People where killed just for expressing their beliefs that a black child should be able to get the same education in the same building as a white child. Most protestors were adults. They were led by such leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., but there were also the teenagers and children who were affected. They were the ones used as test subjects by their parents and others in the fight for education. Many tried to avoid the protests until they realized that they could make a difference. From that point on, the young children of Birmingham stepped forward and willing went to jail.
This book covers not just the protests but what led up to them. It singles out several young people from all walks of life who eventually came together to stand as one. This is one of the best features of this book. It was not just a book about protests. It was a personal look at those same young people who risked everything. Though King and others were mentioned, they were not the focus. The average person was. By doing this, Ms. Levinson made it more real and gave the time period much more depth than what you typically receive studying the 60s.
There are many pictures of events and of the actual people who tell their stories. As you read, you see the protests, the arrests, and even the peace trainings. I am a very visual person, and this enhanced the reading experience.
If you are studying the 1960s, African American history, or just want to learn more, I highly recommend this book. It is a great read and goes beyond what others give you. It gives you the hearts behind the movements.
Note: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review.