ballad of birmingham
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SITUATIONAL IRONY(tthe opposite of what's expected to happen does happen)The mother won't allow her child to go to the freedom march, because it could be too dangerous. However, she allows her to go to a "safe" church, which ends up being very dangerous, actually fatal.
ASSONANCE(repetition of vowel sounds)"No, baby, no you may not go"
ALLITERATION(repetition of initial consonant sounds)"her eyes grew wet and wild""for I fear those guns will fire"
ALLUSION(reference to another piece of literature, film, real event, etc.)"march through the streets of Birmingham/ in a Freedom march today?"
HYBERBOLE(exaggeration)"she raced through the streets of Birmingham"
IMAGERY(language that appeals to the senses)SIGHT: "white gloves on her small brown hands"SMELL: "bathed rose petal sweet"SOUND: "for when she heard the explosion"TOUCH: "clawed through glass and brick"
DIALECT(informal word choice which reflects a particular region or social class)"ain't good for a little child"
CynthiaWesleyApr. 30, 1949Sept. 15, 1963
Denise McNairNov. 17, 1951Sept. 15, 1963
THEME:Dudley Randall conveys the theme of the destructive effects of racism. In his poem, he uses a real, historic event from 1963 to dramatize his message. Four innocent children died because racial hatred. He also uses the mother's perspective as the speaker, to show the personal impact of the loss.
Robert Chambliss convicted 1977Thomas Blantonconvicted in 2001Bobby Frank Cherryconvicted 2002
"The Ballad of Birmingham"written in 1969 by Dudley Randall
In 1965, Dudley Randall founded Broadside Press, a publishing company soley dedicated to publishing African-American works. By 1977, it had published 70 poems and over 50,000 books.
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