Ballad Of Birmingham By Dudley Randall

1549 Words7 Pages
In the 1960s racial discrimination, segregation, and race-inspired violence was at its worst. Jim Crow laws kept white and African American people separate in public, the Ku Klux, Klan forced African Americans to fear for their lives every minute of every day, and absolutely nothing was happening to change these injustices. African Americans participated in thousands of nonviolent boycotts, freedom marches, and protests and nothing was ever changed until the morning of September 15, 1963. On that morning, a bomb, made of dynamite, forever changed the lives of the citizens attending the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four young black girls died in the bombing, inspiring poet Dudley Randall to write his powerful poem, “Ballad of Birmingham.” Through his poetry, Randall influenced change in the Civil Rights movement, and by owning the largest printing press of the 1960s, played a huge role in the Black Arts Movement. Dudley Randall’s ballad, “Ballad of Birmingham,” expresses his feelings of helplessness and sorrow after the tragic and senseless 16th Street Baptist Church bombing using irony, imagery, and tone to allow his readers to understand what life was like for African Americans in America in the 1960s. Irony in “Ballad of Birmingham” is found throughout the poem starting in the very beginning of the poem because one would expect the mother to be the one to want to go to the freedom march, not a young girl. Also irony is present in the poem when the
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