Study Guide

Ballad of Birmingham Summary

By Dudley Randall

Ballad of Birmingham Summary

A young girl asks her mother if she can go downtown and participate in one of Birmingham's many freedom marches, saying she'd rather march than play outside. Her mother refuses; she's afraid that her daughter would be unsafe at the march because of the police dogs and other violence against the protestors, even though the daughter assures her that other children will be participating in the march. Instead, the daughter is allowed to go to church and sing in the children's choir. The daughter puts on a white dress and gloves and leaves, and the mother smiles to know that her daughter is safe at church instead of at the march. Then, she hears an explosion, and runs to the church to see what happened. She doesn't find her daughter in the rubble; all she can salvage is one of her daughter's white shoes.

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