Family movie night is my families favorite night of the week. As a Walmart Mom, I recently heard of a movie called The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Walden Family Media and produced by Tonya Lewis Lee. I had the opportunity to watch the premiere on Hallmark Channel last Friday night. This Walmart sponsored film is based off of the book “The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis. The movie begins in Flint, Michigan with a typical American family, the Watsons. Daniel and Wilona Watson played by Wood Harris and Anika Noni Rose, whose voice you may recognize as Tiana from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, are doing their best raising three children 15-year old Byron, 11 year-old Kenny, and 8 year-old Joetta. When Byron starts acting out, the Watsons decide to visit family in Birmingham, Alabama. However, the time is in 1963.
The movie, I think, does a great job of offering a glimpse of what it must have been like for the Watsons to go from Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama in the middle of the Civil Rights movement. It was definitely an eye opener, for sure. The movie had me laughing at one moment then stunned and holding back the tears on the next. It’s amazing how far we’ve come and the different the last 50 years have made. This movie also did a great job of showing what it must have been like for a family back then. Oftentimes, the events we read about in history books just seem like stories, but The Watsons Go To Birmingham brings one of these history stories to life through the eyes of a family in a relatable way. I love that Walden Family Media and Hallmark Channel have teamed up to offer movies like The Watsons Go To Birmingham and earlier this year Space Warriors that families can watch together. This movie definitely got our family talking about history!
If you missed the movie last Friday, don’t worry! There will be at least two more chances to catch the film on Hallmark Channel on September 27th and October 11th. Walmart currently has an exclusive offering of the book and movie in a bundle pack with a Digital Copy as well. You can also find the exclusive DVD of The Watsons Go to Birmingham in Walmart stores that contains a special 135-page educational manual. As my kids begin to study about Civil Rights in school, I’m sure we will be watching this movie again and perhaps even reading the book!