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.
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.
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.
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
“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