storying his/herstories

this is the headline i saw when i logged onto cnn.com this morning: "Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks dies at 92"

it's been almost 50 years to the day since her rise to historic fame as one of the public faces of the civil rights movement. as we approach the anniversary of ms. parks' instance of holding her ground on a public bus, i'm moved to ask what has happened to the movement? before giving in to my cynical side, i turn to youth and the rich storying that young people are engaging across a variety of modalities.

among these multimodal texts is this one: the children of birmingham

in this piece of animated storytelling, produced and created by youth iving in baltimore, a young woman's voice talks about the historical relevance of birmingham, al, and specifically about the role that children and youth played in the protests against segregation. the participants in this project were 10-14 years old and created this text as part of a summer program called kids on the hill.

consider their text within the broader narrative of civil rights in this country, and ask who has been telling the stories? their images, animation, story, and voice - complete with an occasional chorus of "we shall overcome" sung by the narrator - adds a new and intergenerational layers to the interview segments available in the online resource gallery of the birmingham civil rights institute.

bringing together reflections of the past with present interpretations makes possible a path to different futures. at least that's what young people who are busy making movies, telling tales, and demanding their voices be heard would have us believe. the promise of youth media to me lies in both the medium and the message. and the legacy of ms. parks is not dead.

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