I was fifteen years old when they killed four Black girls in that Birmingham church.

birmingham-bombing-funeral-1963-2.jpg

Outside the funeral services for 14-year-old Carol Robertson, Sept. 17, 1963, Birmingham, Alabama.

On Sept. 15, 1963 a bomb went off in the 16th Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama and killed 11-year-old Denise McNair, 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Morris, also known as Cynthia Wesley.

Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley were only a year younger than I was.

At fifteen I thought I was almost a man. But I wasn’t. I was just a kid. They were just kids.

I was obsessed by the bombing and its victims. They were girls. They were Black. They lived in the South. I was a boy. White. I lived in Los Angeles. While there were plenty of other horror stories that came out of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, few hit me as hard as this one.

Three Klansmen were eventually convicted of the act of terrorism.

Robert Chambliss wasn’t convicted until 1977. Bobby Frank Cherry wasn’t convicted until 2002. They both died in prison.

Thomas Edwin Blanton was indicted in 2000 and is still in prison. It took 38 years to get him there. He is still alive. He is 78.

Blanton has been in prison for 15 years and today he comes up for parole.

Blanton deserves a special place in hell when he dies.

He should die in prison.

2 thoughts on “I was fifteen years old when they killed four Black girls in that Birmingham church.

  1. Pingback: I was fifteen years old when they killed four Black girls in that Birmingham church. — Fred Klonsky | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

  2. I remember it so clearly. I was eleven, & I had nightmares. My mom & dad (o.b.m.) were involved in civil rights issues, & my dad was a union guy, & they fully discussed it with me. It was–and still is–devastating.

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