Randall's Poem 'Ballad Of Birmingham'

Words: 1086
Pages: 5

The Civil Rights movement was a dark era for not only the African American race but also the Caucasian race. For African Americans the struggle for equality and survival haunted them from the early 17th century all the way into the late 1960’s and this era forever left a stain on the American timeline. The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham was one of the stains that happened in this era. Randall wrote the poem “Ballad of Birmingham” because he was a very passionate colored man that cared about people so Randall took it upon himself to write about this tragedy. “Ballad of Birmingham” perfectly blends literary elements and social conflicts of the time by starting out with the daughter wanting to go to the freedom march. The mother …show more content…
Randall started out as a little kid growing up with his father being his first influence on him. His father spoke often as he was a preacher, and because of this Randall grew up around books that his father studied at a very young age, which gave him a view into poetry and how to use literary devices such as the ones he used in “Ballad of Birmingham.” All of this lead up to the next event that happened in Randall’s life that gave him a first hand look into racism and social issues of the south. This event happened when Randall was in the army; Randall was told by a sergeant from down south that they were getting transported in Jim Crow cars which had never happened to any of them because they were from the north. Their commander ended up telling them that they would get a regular coach later in the transportation route, but this particular event stuck with Dudley till after the war which was quite a few years later. In the interview with Ampadu, Randall said that “Well I remembered that for a long time. I didn’t write the poem just then; it wasn’t until 1948 after the war.” (Ampadu) This does not seem like an important event, but the fact that this event stuck with him all the way through the war really showed that this was a significant ordeal that happened in his life. The important thing about this encounter was that it gave Randall a first hand view of what