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Hallmark Schedules "Watsons Go to Birmingham" Movie for September

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 31, 2013

It's based on the award-winning, and important book. A few years ago, when I was taking a course on teaching books for middle-schoolers, "Watsons" was one of  the titles we worked with. I still have a copy at hom.

The official word: Every now and then, a television program comes along that has the power to both entertain and enlighten.  Such is the case with “The Watsons Go To Birmingham,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie, produced in partnership with Walden Media, that reflects upon and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement; and in particular, focuses on the love, light and courage that transformed one of America’s darkest periods.  “The Watsons Go To Birmingham,” which premieres exclusively on Hallmark Channel, Friday, September 20 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C), is a remarkable family story that will make you laugh, cry and think through incredible storytelling.

“The Watsons Go To Birmingham” is based on Christopher Paul Curtis’ 1996 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning book The Watsons Go To Birmingham 1963, and is the captivating story of an all-American family who take a road trip from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, where they encounter prejudice and violence, the likes of which they could have never imagined.  One normal Sunday morning in September, the 16th Street Baptist Church is bombed with young Joetta inside.  The act becomes a metaphor for the family’s world upended by hate, but salvaged in the end – as all things are – by love prevailing over evil.

“The Watsons Go To Birmingham,” stars Tony® Award winner and Grammy® Award nominee Anika Noni Rose, three-time Tony® Award nominee and Grammy® Award nominee David Alan Grier, Skai Jackson, Wood Harris, Bryce Clyde Jenkins, Harrison Knight, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Pauletta Washington. The remarkable film adaptation is produced by Tonya Lewis Lee, Nikki Silver and Philip Kleinbart and directed by Kenny Leon.  All of the talent is available for interviews.  Hallmark Channel is also working with Cable in the Classroom to provide the film for teachers to work into Fall/Winter 2013 curriculums.

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