Unit 4 Assignment 2 Carson Stenroos

Pictured here is the arrest of almost one thousand black children in the city of Birmingham, Alabama on May 2, 1963. The visual representation of this event brings it to life better than a worded description could. The upper left panel shows actual people marching on the streets who knew that they would probably be arrested, and yet they marched anyway. That picture helps us begin to understand how many people were actually taken into police custody that day. Our brains become numb to the true value of a number when it becomes too great, simply because we don’t have the understanding of how much that number truly represents. To put 1,000 people into perspective, that would be similar to arresting half of all students at Davidson College. As seen in the second panel, an officer even asked how many more people and children were marching after the police had already taken a large amount out of the crowd. There were even more protesters that the police weren’t able to arrest, simply due to capacity. We can see the perspective from inside a full police vehicle at the bottom of the left page. On the right page, we are also shown the remorse of some officers who do not want to arrest children because they can feel that what they are doing to the kids is wrong. The statement “It was an embarrassment to the city,” does not match the embarrassment the picture shows on the officer’s face. 

This picture on the right is what impacted me the most when reading. The moment my eyes hit the word “embarrassment,” I felt embarrassed myself. I felt what the officer was feeling. To look a little girl in the eyes and see her innocence makes a person feel bad for harming others like her. I think that is why this singular image takes up a whole page. It is so powerful that it requires a full page so readers can truly take in its impact. Upon closer inspection we can also see that the sign the little girl is holding reads “Can a man love God and hate his brother.” That statement had a big impact on me because it showed me that there is so much hatred for all blacks, even the little kids. Overall, this image with its layout over an entire page made the biggest impact on my reading of March.

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