Mighty Times: The Children’s March


mighty_times_the_childrens_march_2004-214x300Mighty Times: The Children’s March tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham braved arrest, fire hoses, and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. In the spring of 1963, Birmingham, Alabama, was the “do-or-die” battleground for the Civil Rights Movement. Heavy intimidation by Birmingham authorities left the Movement floundering. Using word-of-mouth under a veil of secrecy, more than 4,000 African American schoolchildren organized to desert classrooms at exactly 11 a.m. on “D-Day,” May 2, 1963, touching off a week of mass demonstrations and rioting that shocked the nation. Police tried to stop them. Yet, the children prevailed.

Mighty Times: The Children’s March offers a rare glimpse into the 1963 Birmingham children’s march from the ground up. More than 100 eyewitnesses contributed to the storytelling, with appearances by notable participants and organizers James Orange, Gwendolyn Webb, James Bevel, Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, and Andrew Young. Richard Cohen, President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center said “It is our hope that The Children’s March will inspire youth to take stands on vital human issues affecting their communities and their lives, most especially racism and the devastating impact of discrimination upon our society.” [Producer’s description.]

“The Children’s March” kit includes a 40-minute teachers’ edition of the Academy Award-winning documentary film with closed-captioning; and a teacher’s guide with lessons for social studies, language arts, and music classrooms.

Teachers can order this kit for free.

Produced by Teaching Tolerance in association with HBO.


Directed by Robert Houston. Distributed by HBO and Teaching Tolerance, 2004. 40 minutes.