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Lincoln MKX Presents HISTORY: Carolyn Maull McKinstry

  Broadcast in History

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African American Conservatives host Marie Stroughter goes one on one with Carolyn Maull McKinstry, eyewitness to the 1963 Ku Klux Klan perpetrated 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., which claimed the lives of four of her fellow paritioners: Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14. "It was just an ordinary Sunday. What were excited that it was Youth Sunday, which meant we were in charge of every aspect of church that day, from reading the scripture, to reading announcements to bringing the morning message," says the civil-rights activist, whose 2011 memoir, While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement, recounts the horrific event. "There were two things on my mind that morning: That I was the Sunday school secretary, and I really was proud of having that job, because I was only in the seventh grade. And the second thing was that Cynthia's father was my elementary school principal, and Cynthia and I were in a social club together. We'd visit at each other's homes and drink punch and play records and just laugh and act silly as girls do. But that week, we'd placed an add in the Birmingham World newspaper announcing that the Cavalettes Club would meet Sept. 15. And then it gave you the names of the girls in the club, but it also said don't forget to bring your $3—we were ordering caps and T-shirts for everybody. So I was excited when I went to church that morning. Then all I remember after the bombing was that I went from dancing on tiptoes to just numb that evening and night and on into the week."

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Carolyn Maull McKinstry
While the World Watched A Birmingham Bombing Survivor
Marie Stroughter
African American Conservatives
Lincoln MKX Presents History
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