Walk Together Children



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Walk Together Children
Begin by having all of the children enter from the back of the room singing the theme song as many times as it takes to get them all to the front and organized into a group facing the audience as they sing. If the children are at all interested in dance, consider including some dance steps as they come in.

Walk together children, don’t you get weary,
walk together children, don’t you get weary,
walk together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Sing together children, don’t you get weary,
sing together children, don’t you get weary,
sing together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Pray together children, don’t you get weary,
pray together children, don’t you get weary,
pray together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Love each other children, don’t you get weary,
love each other children, don’t you get weary,
love each other children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

As they complete the song, the children who have speaking parts move to a backstage area and line up in order of their appearances. Narrators go to the podium and microphone area at the left side of the stage. Singers go to their area on the right of the stage. As the narrator calls the name of the child's character, the child moves to the microphone at the center of the stage to read or recite the part.
Narrator 1: Matthew 19:13-15 Then little children were brought to Jesus, that he should lay his hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Allow the little children, and don't forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these." He laid his hands on them, and departed from there.
Throughout history, our people have been blessed with strong, brave, wise children. Come visit a few of them with me. Our first guest was born in 1817 and grew up to become a leader in the Anti-Slavery movement. Join me in welcoming Fredrick Douglas.

Fredrick Douglas: This (holds up the newspaper or book) must be a very powerful weapon. I fought hard to give this weapon to as many people as possible.
Narrator 2 : When Fredrick Douglas was a baby, his mother's owner sent her away to work at another plantation. Fredrick lived in a cabin with his Grandmother Betsey.
When he was 9 years old he was sent away to his first job which was taking care of a younger child. He sat with the little boy during his lessons, and paid close attention so that Fredrick also learned to read and write. And that's where his trouble really started. Many people thought slaves should not be taught to read and write.
While Fredrick Douglas was a teenager, he was sent to other jobs. He was beaten and sent to prison because he helped other slaves to read and write. At age 21 he escaped from slavery. Later he wrote a book about his life which earned enough money to buy his freedom.
As a free man, Fredrick Douglas continued to work against slavery and supported the Civil War. He was appointed the Marshall of the District of Columbia and became the U.S. Consul General to Haiti.
Narrator 1: Our next guest was born into slavery in 1818. Join me in welcoming Harriet Ross Tubman.
Narrator 3: Harriet Tubman's parents were both slaves whose masters gave them no time to make a home for their children. She was raised by a grandmother who was too old for slave labor. When she was six she was sent to work as a weaver. She must not have been very good at it because she was beaten often. By the time she was 11, she had also failed at trapping, at housekeeping and at child care.
Harriet Tubman: Like most children, I loved sweets. One time I was sent away from a job because (Holds up the sugar bowl and takes out the sugar cube) I helped myself to this one little cube of sugar. (Licks on the sugar cube while narrator finishes reading)
Narrator 3: At age 31 Harriet Tubman ran away. She went alone because her husband refused to risk running away. On the way to Philadelphia she found people who were willing to help an escaped slave. Some hid Harriet in their wagons or homes. Others gave her food and supplies. Each helper would tell her where she could go to find the next helper. Since these helpers had to hide what they were doing, they were called the Underground Railroad.
After Harriet Tubman reached freedom, she wanted to help others escape. She made 19 trips back and forth on the Underground Railroad bringing others out of slavery. During the Civil War she enlisted as a nurse to help the sick and injured soldiers.
Some say that Harriet Tubman lost her family because of slavery and her work to help others. I say that she had a huge family made of everyone she helped along the way.
Singer or Small Group:

Love each other children, don’t you get weary,
love each other children, don’t you get weary,
love each other children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Narrator 1: Now let's welcome Thurgood Marshall. His grandfather was a slave but his parents were free people.
Thurgood Marshall: Hello. (With a big smile, takes the sling shot out of the book and pretends to shoot it) I liked being the class clown but I always got caught because Mama was a school teacher.
Narrator 2: Thurgood Marshall's Daddy made him write the constitution as punishment for his many mis-behaviors. Maybe that's why he grew up study law. He helped end segregation in school and he became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.
Narrator 1: The United States Congress designated our next guest as the "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement." Join me in welcoming Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks: They say I was a quiet child. But I do know how to stand up for myself. And, (holds up the bus with a big grin) I also know when to remain seated.

Narrator 3: Rosa was born in 1913 to James McCauley (a carpenter) and Leona Edwards (a teacher). When her parents separated, she and her younger brother Sylvester, moved with their mother to their grandmother's farm in Pine Level, Alabama.

Throughout her life, Rosa experienced the segregation between the white and the black people. On the public buses, the first rows of seats were reserved for white people. Black people were required to sit in the seats behind. The driver used a movable board to divide the two sections. As more white people got on the bus, the driver would move the board back to make more room for the while passengers. Black people who were sitting in the seats would be told to move to the back or to get off the bus.



On the 1st of December, 1955, Rosa and four other people were sitting in the beginning seats of the black section of the bus. When more white people climbed in the bus, the driver moved the board back and asked these four to get up. Three of the black people moved back but Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. The driver called the police and had her arrested. This began a 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama. This successful protest led to a Supreme Court ruling against segregation on November 13, 1956.


Singer or Small Group:

Pray together children, don’t you get weary,
pray together children, don’t you get weary,
pray together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Narrator 2: Our next guest is the man with the dream, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr: (Is punching his fist into a ball glove as he speaks) This is how I learned about discrimination. When I was five years old I often played baseball with our neighbor's sons. One day I went to their house to see if they could come out to play. Their mother told me that her sons could not play with me ever again because I am black and they are white.
Narrator 2: When Martin was fourteen and in the eleventh grade, he entered a speaking contest in Dublin, Georgia. His speech won first place. However, on the bus ride home, Martin was forced to give up his black section seat to a white person. He stood up for the ninety mile trip home. Later, Dr King led the boycott of the segregated buses which was started by Rosa Parks. He became the leader of a movement that destroyed the legal practice of racial segregation. While he taught and practiced nonviolence, violence was often used against him. He was assassinated in 1968.
 


Narrator 1: The names of many of the brave children who fought for our rights are not found in our history books. For example, volunteers, including a group of about 2,500 student protesters began what is known as The Birmingham Campaign with non-violent sit-ins and marches. More than 900 children between the ages of six and eighteen were arrested. The Birmingham Campaign was one of the events which convinced President Kennedy to act on civil rights issues. This helped bring about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which banned discrimination in employment and in public accommodations.
Narrator 2: William Minner who later became director of the Kansas Human Rights Commission joins us to tell about a traumatic childhood incident which happened near his hometown of Spiro, Oklahoma.
William Minner: (Holds a tin cup for water) We had stopped at a spring. It was a very popular place that both blacks and whites would go to get water. We had waited there for about 30 minutes. But the people ahead of us, they were all white. When we had reached our turn, two white men grabbed my dad. They told him that he'd have to wait until all of the white people were finished. Dad said, "We'll get our water another day or we'll come back." They wouldn't let my dad leave. They said, "You're going to stay here, and when all of the good white people have gotten their water, and when everyone is gone, then you can do what you want to." When all the white people finished getting their water, Dad got his water. I remember him telling me, "What you saw there was real hatred and prejudice. But this is not going to be forever . . . there's gonna come a day when this won't be anymore."
Solo or small group:

Learn together children, don’t you get weary,
Learn together children, don’t you get weary,
Learn together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Narrator 1: Black Americans have made spectacular achievements in science, medicine and agriculture. One outstanding example is our next guest, George Washington Carver.
Narrator 2: George was born of slave parents in 1864 in Diamond Grove, Missouri. A sickly child at birth he would remain frail for most of his childhood. One night a band of raiders attacked his family and stole George and his mother. Days later, George was found unharmed by neighbors and was traded back to his owners in exchange for a race horse. Because of his frailty, George was not suited for work in the fields but he did possess a great interest in plants and was very eager to learn more about them. Here on the farm is where George first fell in love with plants and Mother Nature.
George Washington Carver: (is holding a jar of Peanut Butter behind his back) I guess I needed someone to listen so I started talking to the plants in our garden. They must have shared some secrets with me because I went on to invent (holds up the jar he had behind his back) Peanut Butter and over 300 other useful things we can do with a peanut.
Narrator 2: Although he did hold three patents, Carver never patented most of the many discoveries he made while at Tuskegee, saying "God gave them to me, how can I sell them to someone else?" In 1990 George Washington Carver was inducted into The National Inventor's Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.
Narrator 1 : Our next guest is the first African-American woman to travel in a space shuttle. Welcome Mae Jemison.
Narrator 3: As a young girl growing up in Chicago, Mae Jemison always assumed she would get into space. Mae said it was easier to apply to be a shuttle astronaut, "rather than waiting around in a cornfield, waiting for ET to pick me up or something."
Mae Jemison: I am inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. But to me King's dream wasn't an elusive fantasy but a call to action. Too often people paint King like Santa -- smiley and inoffensive. But when I think of Martin Luther King, I think of attitude, audacity, and bravery. I think the civil rights movement was all about breaking down the barriers to human potential. The best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.
Narrator 3: Chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher and astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison has a wide range of experience in technology, engineering, and medical research. In addition to her extensive background in science, she is well-versed in African and African-American Studies, speaks fluent Russian, Japanese, and Swahili, as well as English and is trained in dance and choreography.
Singer or Small Group:

Sing together children, don’t you get weary,
sing together children, don’t you get weary,
sing together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Narrator 1: Next we welcome just a few of the many African-Americans who have made extensive contributions to music, sports and the arts.
Duke Ellington: My childhood was filled with love and support from my mother, father, and my entire family. They motivated me to think nothing was impossible and the sky's the limit. I grew up to become a jazz muscian. My name is Duke Ellington.
Langston Hughes: In my works, I celebrated ordinary African American people doing ordinary everyday things. My grandmother, Mary Patterson Langston, often took me in her lap and told me stories about abolitionists and courageous slaves who struggled for their freedom. Her tales impressed me with the nobility of black people, and the importance of stoicism—and even laughter—in the face of hardship. Grandmother's tales helped me become who I am ... the jazz poet, Langston Hughes.
Narrator 3: Our next guest was number 20 of the 22 Rudolph children. Wilma was always a sickly child and at age 4, the polio virus took away the ability to use her legs. When the doctors told her family that she would never walk again, they refused to be limited by that message. Wilma's Mom took her on a 50 mile bus ride twice weekly for physical therapy. And there were plenty of brothers and sisters to help with the leg messages she needed four times each day. I think those doctors were very surprised to hear that Wilma Rudolph, the poor little black girl they said was crippled for life became the first American woman to win 3 gold Olympic metals. Meet Wilma Rudolph who knows the value of family.


Wilma Rudolph: (holds track shoes) When you come from a large, wonderful family, there’s always a way to achieve your goals. My family helped me trade my leg braces for track shoes.
Narrator 1: Ophra Winfrey said, “I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.“ We hope you have enjoyed these visits with just a few of the many bridges who can help us get from where we are to where we want to be.
Narrator 2: Adults, we salute you for your role in supporting and loving the children in your lives.
Narrator 3: And children, we salute you as you march boldly into the future. You are our inspiration.
Narrator 1: Please join us as we sing in honor of Black History Month.
(All actors march out while singing)

Walk together children, don’t you get weary,
walk together children, don’t you get weary,
walk together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

Sing together children, don’t you get weary,
sing together children, don’t you get weary,
sing together children, don’t you get weary,
there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
We’re gonna walk and never tire,
walk and never tire, there’s a
great camp meeting in the promised land.

The End

Cast:

Narrators – these parts can be read by older children or adults. If the cast is small, one person could read all of the narrator parts.

Narrator 1 – male or female

Narrator 2 – male voice

Narrator 3 – female voice
Fredrick Douglas – carries an older looking newspaper or book

Harriet Tubman – carries an antique looking bowl with a sugar cube in it

Thurgood Marshall – carries an old fashioned looking school book with a sling shot hidden inside

Rosa Parks – carries a toy passenger bus

Martin Luther King, Jr – wears a baseball glove which he punches with his fist or a baseball

William Minner: - holds a tin cup for water

George Washington Carver: holds a jar of peanut butter behind his back

Mae Jemison – holds a space shuttle

Duke Ellington – holds a horn or other musical instrument

Langston Hughes – holds a pen and paper

Wilma Rudolph – holds track shoes
You can lengthen or shorten the program by adding or dropping characters.
Costumes:

Narrators do not need costumes. Other characters can be very simply dressed to resemble black children of the times in which they lived. For ideas, visit the history section of your local library or search Google images.
Setting:

Narrators should be gathered around a podium at one side of the stage.

Singers can be standing or seated at the opposite side.

As each character speaks he/she should stand at a microphone located in center stage. Each character has an object to show to the audience so avoid having a table or podium in this area.
Permissions:

This program is available free of charge. You are welcome to use it. Feel free to change the program to suit your purposes.
Music:

The theme for this program is the spiritual “Walk Together Children” which is #541 in the African American Heritage Hymnal, Work with the children to develop a fun adaption of the song which they will enjoy singing. If you are not familiar with the song, search for examples on Youtube.com. Two which I enjoyed were:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFGtEl2qksw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGo7Hi5WEoU&feature=related

But please don't encourage the children to sing it like another group – let them have fun developing a way they enjoy. As I wrote this, the vision I had was of children marching and singing loudly to encourage each other.


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