The young adults of Parkland have given me something I haven’t felt in a while: hope. Thank you, I needed that. Your untethered, articulate voices are an inspiration.
By definition, you may be children, but your reaction to the devastation gives me the heart to be a better adult. I wish I had a smidgen of your gumption.
It is not the first time children have carried the voice for the adults.
In an event called the Birmingham Children’s Crusade, young black students were brave enough to stand for what was right.
In 1963, civil rights groups developed a plan using peaceful protests to bring attention to segregation and equal rights in Birmingham, Alabama, a city notorious for its discriminatory practices. The demonstrations started in April 1963 as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led thousands of African-American protestors in Birmingham.
To continue the momentum, thousands of children were trained in the tactics of non-violent protest. On May 2nd, they left the 16th Street Baptist Church in groups, heading throughout the city to protest segregation peacefully. They were not met with a peaceful response. On the first day, hundreds of children were arrested. By the second day, the police were ordered to spray the children with powerful water hoses, hit them with batons, and threaten them with police dogs.