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On September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls and injuring many others.

Once described by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as one of the most tragic and vicious crimes ever perpetrated against humanity, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama, instantly killed Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Carole Rosamond Robinson, and Cynthia Dionne Morris Wesley.

60 years later, churchgoers continue to keep the Sunday pews full remain the bombing was a horrific act of violence that shocked the nation and galvanized the civil rights movement.

Photo Courtesy: Zeke Walker. The Black Wall Street Times.

In this intimate first-hand account, Sarah imparts her views on topics such as the 50th year commemoration, restitution, and racial terrorism.

This story also delves into the bond between Sarah and her mother, Mrs. Alice Collins.

In the backdrop of a national reckoning and global protests, underscored by the deadly violence at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC, and tragedies in Charlottesville, VA, and Pittsburgh, PA, Sarah’s unflinching testimony about the 63 Birmingham church bombing is illuminating.

The bombing took place just days after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and it was a clear message to civil rights activists that they would not be tolerated.

The bombing was carried out by members of the Ku Klux Klan, the FBI eventually arrested four men for the bombing, but they were acquitted by an all-White jury.

The case was reopened in 2000, and the four men were finally convicted of murder in 2001.

Photo Courtesy: Zeke Walker. The Black Wall Street Times.

In the years since the bombing, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham has become a symbol of hope and resilience.

Birmingham rebuilt but it was never forgotten

It has been rebuilt and restored, and it remains an important center for the civil rights movement.

Photo Courtesy: Zeke Walker. The Black Wall Street Times.

“Those girls didn’t have to be killed like that. We were there to praise God and learn a lesson about love, and it was just some hateful, devilish people out there that hated us because of our color,” Collins Rudolph said. “I don’t understand why they hate us so much when we went through slavery. What more do they want from us?”

While Collins Rudolph, often called “the fifth girl,” said she remains angry about the delay in prosecuting the men responsible for the bombing, she said she hopes the men repented before their deaths.

“It made me angry because they didn’t have to wait 93 years to bring them to court, because they knew who did it,” she said. “I really believe that if they had done it earlier while the Ku Klux Klan was rising they would have gotten off. But it was a blessing that they finally went to trial.”

Collins Rudolph was 12 years old at the time of the Birmingham church bombing and had attended the church all of her life up until the tragedy.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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