Sunday, September 15, 2013

Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Rosamond Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley

I'm in the middle of reading Denise Nicholas' Freshwater Road, set in Mississippi, which tells one tale of the Freedom Summer and the drive to register African-Americans to vote -- that hot summer of death, loss, gain, and confrontation. Something kept nagging me about today's date...

It's been 50 years since four young girls were murdered by a bomb in their church in Birmingham, Alabama.

In my last minute browsing around and reflection, I found this iconic and gentle "cartoon" by J.D. Crowe in their memory, and wondered why we trusty white leftists don't remember these four little girls the way we remember the Kent State Four, killed seven years later -- all of them killed indiscriminately (how bitter that word sounds) by nothing but pure hate and fear.

No, truth be told, I wondered why I did not remember these four little girls the way I dutifully remember the Kent State Four.

In memory of four little girls 

The aftermath of the bombing on September 15, 1963. (Birmingham News File/Tom Self)

Barnett Wright,, writes:  
 'No screaming, only crying': Witnesses remember infamous Sunday of 1963 church bombing (photos, videos)
"The explosion marked a turning point in the civil rights movement and became a catalyst for change in the United States and ultimately prompted global efforts for equality and human rights.
Today, 50 years later, the Sunday school will teach the same lesson taught that day. And at 10:22 a.m., the exact time of the explosion, the church's bell will toll. This service will cap a week-long commemoration that drew a number of visitors and dignitaries to Birmingham for Empowerment Week -- celebrations that included speeches, panel discussions, concerts, festivals and, more, most revolving around the bombing's anniversary".

There's a sobering documentary at as well in the form of photographs from that not so far off time. 

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