48 pages; ages 10 – 18
Calkins Creek (Boyd Mills Press), 2010
During the Civil Rights movement, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church served as a rallying place for Birmington, Alabama’s African American community. Martin Luther King Jr. used it as his “headquarters” when he was in town speaking about desegregation and equal rights. Because of that, the church – and Birmingham – became a target for attacks… bombings that were threatening but not deadly.
That changed on Sunday, September 15, 1963. Early in the morning, three Ku Klux Klan members planted 19 sticks of dynamite outside the basement of the church. At 10:22 am they exploded, killing four young girls – Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair – and injuring 22 others. The young people had come to prepare for Youth Day.
Rather than paralyzing the black community with fear, the bombing galvanized the community and guaranteed passage of the 1964 civil rights legislation.
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