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Looking Back

Kids lend their voices to protests in Birmingham, Alabama, in May 1963. FRANK ROCKSTROH—MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

Kids have long fought for justice in the United States. Look back to May 1963. Hundreds of Black children skipped school to march in Birmingham, Alabama. They were protesting segregation. Segregation is the practice of keeping Black and white people apart.

Freeman Hrabowski speaks about Black history in 2010.


Freeman Hrabowski is a president at the University of Maryland. He was 12 in 1963. He remembers Martin Luther King Jr. visiting his church. King asked kids to fight for civil rights. Hrabowski was inspired to march. “King believed in us,” he told TIME for Kids. “We have to believe in our kids. They have to be empowered empower STEVE DEBENPORT/GETTY IMAGES to give someone the ability to do something (verb) The speaker empowered the students to raise their voices. to play a part in our democracy.”