Sunday’s In The South – Four Little Girls

I went downtown yesterday to visit Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham and to see a new sculpture that was placed in the park to commemorate the murders of four little girls in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.  On September 15, 1963 Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley lost their lives for the cause of freedom.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church - Birmingham Alabama

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church – Birmingham Alabama

From Kelly Ingram park looking to Sixteenth Street Baptist Church you see the sculpture and as I approached, chills ran down my spine to think that those remembered in this work of art, died directly across the street in a senseless act of hatred.

The roses you see are ‘Coretta Scott King’ a grandiflora introduced this year by Weeks Roses. As you can see, they were in a full flush of bloom.

Noted sculptress Elizabeth MacQueen created this work of art as a permanent reminder of what occurred the day of the bombing.

Four Little Girls Sculpture - By Elizabeth MacQueen

Four Little Girls Sculpture – By Elizabeth MacQueen

The sculpture seems to portray these young ladies reaching, looking and beckoning. They seem to be reaching for the doves; perhaps symbolizing the Holy Spirit come to take them home.  It was a very moving experience for me to visit this corner and I want to encourage people everywhere to come and see it for yourself.

Film maker Spike Lee produced an excellent documentary entitled  Four Little Girls. It is well worth seeing.

As you walk through the park’s “Freedom Walk” it takes you to several other statues and sculptures.

Kelly Ingram Park - Freedom Walk - Birmingham Alabama

Kelly Ingram Park – Freedom Walk – Birmingham Alabama

This plot of land is considered “Ground Zero” for the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. This statue is dedicated to all the soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement

Kelly Ingram Park - Freedom Walk - Birmingham Alabama

Kelly Ingram Park – Freedom Walk – Birmingham Alabama

“Lives lost. Hopes dashed. Fear instilled. Never Give Up. Hope rising. People Uniting. A New Day. A New Era. Still A Long Way To Go.” – Chris VanCleave

About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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4 Responses to Sunday’s In The South – Four Little Girls

  1. There is so much about the world that I can’t explain and that just plain saddens me…even to this day it still brings tears to my eyes. From someone who lived through those times, thank you for your wonderful photos.


  2. So sad, yet so glad they are honored.


  3. rainyleaf says:

    Thanks for sharing,


  4. Thank you for sharing this.


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