Yesterday I attended the Empowerment Week/ 50th Anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing when 4 little girls were killed September 15th 1963 at 10:22am in Birmingham Alabama. I had the opportunity to attend the morning church service, visit the Civil Rights Institute
and view the new memorial in remembrance of the girls. After taking in the service, viewing the memorial, and walking through the museum. I began to tear up reading the statements of Denise McNair’s, the who was the tender age of 11 and the youngest of the girls, family statements in the newspaper clippings displayed in the museum. We weren’t allowed to take pictures but I did get the chance to see a little blue green dress that belonged to Denise.
My heart was heavy as I also thought about Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley who were all killed at 14, the same age of my little sisters.
I can’t imagine the pain these families went through losing their little girls. My heart goes out to them and I will not forget their story.
In addition, I had the honor of meeting two women who were from the community and grew up playing in the neighborhood of the church.
The Moore sisters were around the same ages of the girls and shared with me their feelings and emotions during that time when Birmingham had been given the title of Bombingham. They shared how the kids all played with one another and how close knit the people were. They remembered Chris Mcnair (Denise’s father) was their family photographer. They also shared how the Black community was more like a village; everyone looking after one another. All I can say was the experience for me was a life changing moment. I am so grateful to these women and the families affect by this tragedy for sharing stories.
Until next time…