Set in the Summer of 1963, Flint, Michigan is home to the Watsons, a close knit "All American Family" made up of Daniel and Wilona Watson, (Harris and Rose) and their three kids, 15 year-old juvenile delinquent Byron (Knight), nerdy 11 year-old Kenny (Jenkins) and eight year-old adorable sister Joetta (Jackson). When Byron's antics go over the top, his parents realize enough is enough and they decide the family needs a dose of Grandma Sands (Richardson) no nonsense approach in Birmingham, Alabama. So the Watsons load up the 1948 Plymouth Brown Bomber outfitted with a true tone Ultra-Glide turntable and head South with plenty of comedy en route. When they finally make it to Birmingham, they meet Grandma Sands and her friend, Mr. Robert (Grier), who show them around town and the Watsons discover that life is very different there than in Flint - and not necessarily for the better. During that historic summer, the Watsons find themselves caught up in something far bigger than Byron's ... Written by
This movie is based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, a well respected children's author. The movie is about an African American family living in Detroit, Michigan who spend the summer in Birmingham, Alabama. The Watson children don't know about Jim Crow laws and segregation in the South. The children soon learn about the civil rights movement and discrimination. A scene like in the diner where the waitress tells them to go in the back or the cinema where whites and blacks are separated from each other. The film has a harrowing climax with the reality of the church bombing. The Watsons have made a life in the North but their Southern relatives face discrimination and segregation on a daily basis. This film is appropriate viewing for children. In fact, the movie and book could be used in the classroom.
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