Birmingham 1963: How a Photograph Rallied Civil Rights Support

Birmingham 1963: How a Photograph Rallied Civil Rights Support

by Shelley Tougas
     
 

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In May 1963 news photographer Charles Moore was on hand to document the Children’s Crusade, a civil rights protest. But the photographs he took that day did more than document an event; they helped change history. His photograph of a trio of African-American teenagers being slammed against a building by a blast of water from a fire hose was especially powerful.… See more details below

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Overview

In May 1963 news photographer Charles Moore was on hand to document the Children’s Crusade, a civil rights protest. But the photographs he took that day did more than document an event; they helped change history. His photograph of a trio of African-American teenagers being slammed against a building by a blast of water from a fire hose was especially powerful. The image of this brutal treatment turned Americans into witnesses at a time when hate and prejudice were on trial. It helped rally the civil rights movement and energized the public, making civil rights a national problem needing a national solution. And it paved the way for Congress to finally pass laws to give citizens equal rights regardless of the color of their skin.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Lucy Schall
In a creative and engaging exploration of history, this Captured History series uses an iconic photograph in each volume to introduce the reader to a significant event, the photographer, and the object of the photograph. Birmingham 1963 centers on the controversial Children's Crusade, which organized African American children for nonviolent protest. Tougas points out that civil rights leaders needed controversy to bring attention to their cause, and Charles Moore's photograph of teenagers being assaulted with fire hoses effectively pressured the repressive white Birmingham establishment. With his pictures, Moore, who originally wanted to cover the world's beauty, became a protester himself, and like Burgan, Tougas explains the details that give the picture its power. Each volume in this series is a motivating introduction to the period it describes, and the photograph analysis makes this series a valuable source for team teachers of social studies and language arts. The easy-to-read format and many pictures will appeal to the browsing reader as well as the assigned researcher. In addition to its many study aids, the series provides www.facthound.com for additional information. (Captured History) Reviewer: Lucy Schall
Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Charles Moore's photograph of terrified fourteen-year-old Carolyn Maull, taken on May 3, 1963 during the Children's Crusade protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, shocked people nationwide. Striving to achieve equality and resist discrimination, several thousand determined, resilient children marched despite Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor ordering police and firefighters to control them with extreme tactics. Moore captured images showing firemen aiming fire hoses at young protestors, including the alarming photograph of Maull and two male teenagers pinned onto a wall. His picture, which motivated the U.S. Congress to approve civil rights legislation, dominates this book's cover and is repeated in the text for emphasis. Biographical information tells how Moore became a Civil Rights photographer. His quotations and contemporary figures' comments enrich the narrative. The text explores events in Birmingham after the photograph was taken, such as Maull being inside the 16th Street Baptist Church when it was bombed on September 15, 1963 and mourning her friends killed that day. Archival illustrations, glossary, timeline, citations, sidebars, and bibliography are provided. This book does not mention any African-American photographers documenting the Civil Rights Movement, such as Ernest C. Withers, nor address that activists had been unsuccessful in integrating Birmingham's fire and law enforcement forces. A statement that Birmingham unrest was the first modern race riot overlooks previous twentieth century incidents. Pair with Tougas's book discussing a photograph of Elizabeth Eckford, also a volume in the "Captured History" series. Supplement with Carolyn Maull McKinstry's autobiography While the World Watched (2011); Carole Boston Weatherford's Birmingham, 1963 (2007); the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute web site (www.bcri.org); and Spike Lee's documentary 4 Little Girls (1997). Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Occasionally, a single photograph becomes the emblematic image that defines an era, and this quality series tells the stories of four of those iconic pictures. Each book places its subject photo in historical context, profiles the photographer, describes the conditions under which it was taken, and analyzes both its immediate and its continuing impact. The texts include ample background information and details and are enhanced by large photos and sidebars. These books will help students understand the influence of the individual images and the eras they epitomize, making them strong choices.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756544461
Publisher:
Capstone Press
Publication date:
02/01/2010
Series:
Captured History Series
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
621,267
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
980L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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