In a city once known as "Bombingham", Birmingham is still subtly divided.
It has been 50 years since members of the KKK bombed the 16th street Baptist Church, killing Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins.
The day after the bombing, a young white lawyer named Chuck Morgan was scheduled to address his peers. In that speech, were these scathing words,
"Who threw that bomb? The answer should be, we all did it...it's every little individual who talks about 'the niggers' and spreads the seeds of his hate to his neighbor and son. "
Threats ensued, and 2 weeks later, he fled with his family in the cover of night. He did what too many whites did not do. He did what too many people still do not do.
The pastor didn't have a chance to preach it, but the title of the sermon that morning was, "A Love That Forgives". I think of the parents and siblings of these little girls and wonder if they forgave such evil hatred.
Impossible on your own.
Sarah Collins Rudolph, Addie Mae's younger sister, was injured in the blast. She spent months in the hospital and lost her right eye. She says she feels no bitterness, "Being bitter won't bring the girls back, won't bring my sight back. So i had to forgive because it was what God wanted me to do."