Why did Byron go home to Flint, Michigan with his family in "Watson Go to Birmingham - 1963"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The original plan was to have Byron stay in Birmingham, Alabama for a time with his grandmother.  His parents had tried everything to control his rebellious pre-teen behavior, but to no avail, and they were hoping that spending some time with the formidable Grandma Sands would help Byron get his attitude straight.  The tragic bombing of the Baptist Church near Grandma Sands' home changed everything, however.  The Civil Rights Movement had taken a violent turn in Alabama, and Momma and Dad were undoubtedly worried about Byron's safety if he stayed.  Also, the family, and Kenny in particular, was traumatized by what they had seen in the bombing and its aftermath; Momma and Dad most likely would have wanted to keep the family together during this difficult time.  Byron also appeared to have been sobered by all that had transpired, and had in actuality demonstrated a measure of responsibility and caring that he did not show before in saving Kenny from the whirlpool.  One would hope that his experiences in Birmingham, Alabama, however brief, would have been enough to get him to turn his life around before it was too late.

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

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