Melody 1963 – This is a sponsored post for KidzVuz on behalf of Amazon Studios.
An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is the story of young girl growing up in Detroit with her mom and grandfather during the civil rights movement. She learns about inequality as she is faced with bigotry first-hand in her day-to-day life. Melody (who is the only black child at her school) begins to question her teacher and the declarations in the Pledge of Allegiance. With the support of her loving mother, Melody takes a stand to what is right and proves that kids can make a difference.
Melody 1963 is the first Amazon original special on Prime Video in the US and it premieres on Oct 21. The impressive cast includes Black-ish actress Marsai Martin as Melody, Idara Victor who portrays her mom and Frankie Fraison stars as Melody’s grandfather. My daughter and I attended a special screening of the film at the Grove in Los Angeles. The film focuses on an emotional and sad moment in our history. We were both moved by the performance of the actors and my daughter, Teagan, who rarely gets emotional during, was effected by what she saw. Immediately after the movie she talked to me about one of her best friends who is black. She couldn’t fathom treating her differently because of the color of her skin.
I feel this film is a timely discussion piece for families. Our country is seeing a surge of race and hate issues, especially as we are closing in on the presidential election. Melody’s mother continuously reminds Melody that’s it love that will conquer hate. Also, I don’t think enough credit is given to children and the power they have to make changes and how concerned they are for their country. My daughter and her classmates regularly talk about their fears during this presidential election. They are very aware and are participating in open discussions. I know I didn’t have these conversations when I was in 4th grade!
Again, this film does tackle a heavy topic, but it’s done in a compassionate and age appropriate way. The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which was a white-supremacy act of terrorism, becomes the center of the film and a healing point for Melody and her community. During a church vigil, Melody sees that she doesn’t need to be afraid and that love does bring change. The congregation remembers the four children killed in the attack on September 15, 1963. The film makers also honor the four by displaying their photos at the end of the film. Children relate to other children and are empathetic towards the suffering of children their age.
I also want to mention that after the screening, one of the boys in attendance said that this film was the first American Girl movie he liked. I think this movie speaks to boys as well as girls and does a wonderful job showing that love can conquer all.
Katie Dickson, president of American Girl Doll, spoke to the audience prior to the film and she talked about this film being bigger than American Girl. It’s a period piece with a contemporary look at how one little girl’s voice can make a difference. She also mentioned that this is the 1st time a children’s program tackled race issues head on.
In addition to the film’s debut, American Girl and Amazon Video have created Amazon.com/Americangirl for families who are interested in purchasing Melody. The site also offers historically accurate 1960s clothing and other accessories. Los Angeles families can visit the American Girl doll store at the Grove to see the doll up close! That’s where the celebration moved to after the premiere! Attendees visited the American Girl store where they were gifted a Beloved Melody doll and then let the kids do what kids do best- play! We explored Melody’s room, checked out her accessories, ate, laughed and mingled with the stars. It was a wonderful night filled with love and appreciation.
This is a sponsored post for KidzVuz on behalf of Amazon Studios.