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Alabama Waldorf School middle school students learned about the Civil Rights movement and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL during a field trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. This year commemorates the 60-year anniversary of the bombing.

The field trip, created for all area middle school students, centered around Christopher Paul Curtis’ famed 1995 historical fiction novel, “The Watsons Go to Birmingham.” The book centers on the Watson family’s asummer road trip from Michigan to the Magic City in 1963. Curtis attended the event and spoke to the students about the book’s depiction of the racial injustices the Watsons encountered during their trip, including their encounter with the church bombing.

Alabama Waldorf School fifth and sixth grade teacher, Jodie Bratley, said she owes it to her students to be honest with them about the history of Alabama.

“I look at my children, and I look at their faces and I know that they are just now about the same age as those four little girls,” she said. “It really makes me know that, as Mr. Curtis was saying, we’re still working. We still have so far to go, but we have to do it. They deserve it. Those children in front of me deserve it.”

Klu Klk Klan bombers planted 19 sticks of dynamite beneath the steps of the church and killed 11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins. 

Read the story at WBHM - NPR News for the Heart of Alabama 



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