Randall-Ballad of Birmingham - eng2326

Ballad of Birmingham
Born on January 14th 1914 in
Washington, D.C.
Moved to Detroit at the age of
Parents were Ada Viola (
teacher) and Arthur George
Clyde (minister)
Ruby Hudson, May 27, 1935
Vivian Spencer, May 4 1957
Died on August 5, 2000 at
age 86
• Published first poem at the age of 13 in the Young Poets
Page of the Detroit Free Press
• Graduated high school at the age of 16
• Joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in July of 1943
• Worked for Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Postal
Service, and several libraries throughout his life
• Earned a BA in English in 1941 and a Masters in Library
Science in 1951
• Founded the Broadside Press
• Written after the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist
Church in Birmingham, Alabama
• Tells the tragic death of a little girl whose mother thought
she was safer in church
• Various versions may include different wording –
She clawed in bits of glass and brick
Then lifted out a shoe.
'O, here's a shoe, but where's the foot,
And, baby, where are you?'
Church bombing in 1963
21 wounded and 4 girls died
Originally blamed on Governor of Alabama
Later Robert Chambliss, member of KKK, was arrested and
charged with murder and illegal possession of dynamite in
1963 but was found not guilty for murder
• Went to trial again in 1977
• FBI announced in 2000 that four men were involved
• Addie Mae
Collins – 11
• Carole
Robertson – 14
• Cynthia Wesley
– 14
• Denise McNair
- 11
• “About the 1963 Birmingha, Bombing.” Modern American Poetry. Online.
• Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age, Civil Rights Movement
Inspired Randall, Broadside Press Published Black Poetry. Online.
• Gutstein, Dan. BLETWAY: A Poetry Quarterly. Online.
• Image. African American Registry. Online.
• Madgett, L. Naomi. “Dudley Randall’s Life and Career.” Modern American
Poetry. Online.
• “On ‘Ballad of Birmingham’”. Modern American Poetry. Online.
• “Tennessee State University: The Ballad Of Birmingham.” YouTube. Online.

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