On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. A few weeks later, on September 15, a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed, and 4 little African-American girls inside were killed.
In The Watsons Go to Birmingham movie based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, that same summer, a fictional family named the Watsons traveled from their home in Michigan to stay with their grandparents in Birmingham. But Byron, Kenny, and Joetta were not used to the cruel way that African Americans were treated in the South at that time. It’s an eye-opening experience for them, but nothing compared to the fear and shock when tragedy strikes at church.
I remember very clearly the first time I read The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963. It is so good! I was so scared for little Joetta when that church got bombed and they couldn’t find her – oh my goodness! I’m not going to lie. I cried a little bit just watching the movie trailer.
I had the chance to interview Christopher Paul Curtis for the STACKS, and he is hilarious in real life, too. (You can hear me laughing in the background of this video.) He has that rare gift as an author of mixing funny stories with serious topics that really make you think. I totally recommend all of his books!
The Watsons Go to Birmingham movie will air on the Hallmark Channel on September 20. I will definitely be watching. Will you?
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Photos courtesy The Hallmark Channel