CYNTHIA LEVINSON: WRITE YOUR OWN HERO’S JOURNEY

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY

WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO? 

Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times

Meet Cynthia Levinson, author of ‘We’ve Got a Job: the 1963 Birmingham Children’s March,’  Jane Addams Children’s Book Award 2013 Winning Title for Older Readers.

Read a summary of ‘We’ve Got A Job’ and learn of the young heroes of Birmingham.

Cynthia Levinson illuminates the pivotal role that older children and teens played in Birmingham Civil Rights protests in early May 1963. When adults were reluctant to march and fill the jails, youth took up the call. Their willingness to do so inspired adults who had been hesitant to protest for a number of reasons, from fear of physical repercussions to the possibility of losing their jobs to disagreement among leaders in the Black community regarding the right course of action. When the youth marched, the violent response of police and fire departments under Bull Connor ignited the broader public and the media. Levinson’s account returns repeatedly to the experience of four African American youth who participated in the marches, three of them teenagers, and one, Audrey Hendrickson, only nine years old, and the youngest to be arrested. Their backgrounds and stories provide insight into class differences within the Black community, while the larger narrative also speaks to differences in how Black and white youth experienced this tumultuous time. A final chapter provides an account of the lives of all four since that time. Detailed source notes and a bibliography conclude this inspiring volume. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison, 2013

 

Visit Cynthia’s website to see other books she has written.

Cynthia’s Website

 

Watch the trailer for ‘The Youngest Marcher’ about the youngest hero of the Birmingham marches, Audrey Hendrickson.

 

 

Then join Cynthia for writing workshop as she helps you plan for writing your own hero’s journey.

Here’s a link to the ‘Map that Myth’ which Cynthia showed you in her lesson.

Map That Myth

 

NOW LET’S GET TO NEXT STEPS!

Guiding questions for your reading, writing, thinking and acting:

  • You guessed it! It’s time for the call to adventure! Follow Cynthia’s lead and write your own hero story or myth. (Let’s be clear here. Hero has become a gender-neutral term. You get to choose who your hero will be and, yes, it could be you!) Above all, have fun with this! You are welcome to share a favorite part of your story in our comment section (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo

  • Who do you see as a hero in your life? Who is venturing out to save the world and facing challenges everyday? Who are the magical helpers in your life? Who do you see thinking about giving up, but never doing so? Tell them! Choose at least one of your heroes or helpers and tell them that you are proud of them and why you are proud of them. Maybe you want to make them a card or poster? Just be sure they know they are a hero or hero’s magical helper in your eyes!  You are welcome to share your experience and thoughts about this activity in our comment section below (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo

We look forward to hearing from you! 

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