Tonya Lewis hopes ‘Watsons Go to Birmingham’ inspires

    Tonya LewisThe Hallmark Channel offers a fresh spin on history tonight at 8 p.m. EST as the film adaptation of The Watsons Go to Birmingham premieres.

    Set during the civil rights movement, the film, starring Wood Harris, Anika Noni Rose, Latanya Richardson and more, follows a close-knit, middle class African-American family from Flint, Michigan as the relatives take a road trip from their comfy home up north to the turbulent environment in Birmingham, Alabama where trying to order even a simple sandwich proves to be a natural right taken for granted.

    The film’s producer, Tonya Lewis Lee, wife of the famed producer Spike Lee, loved the book so much that it was a much welcomed project to take on.

    “I think the thing that is unique about the film is that it is told through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy. I think that rarely do we get to see that perspective and just the relationship that he has with his brothe,r which is very complicated but a very great relationship.”

    During the Watson’s short trip to their family’s home, the kids encounter their first taste of racial injustices and are forced to question their lives, the world and conquer their fears in this fun, yet emotional drama.

    Though it deals with the 16th Street Baptist Church bombings and segregation, it is by no means solely focused on tragedy. As a matter of fact, Tonya hopes for more positive takeaways from the film.

    “My hope for young people is to be inspired to realize that if they see a moral wrong in their community that they can raise up their voices and make a difference even while they are still young; they don’t have to wait. Their voices matter and we need them to stand up.”

    Be sure to tune in tonight to see The Watsons Go to Birmingham. For those who miss it, it will be available on DVD at Walmart on September 24.

    Cover_October2013_TGTGet more on The Watsons Go to Birmingham in the October 2013 issue of Sister 2 Sister.




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