Today is the 50th anniversary of the Klan terrorist bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL that killed 4 teenage girls and wounded 22 other people when it exploded at 10:22 AM.
Addie Mae Collins (aged 14), Denise McNair (aged 11), Carole Robertson (aged 14), and Cynthia Wesley (aged 14), were killed in the attack. One of the people wounded in it was Collins sister Sarah.
The girls who died that day were posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal this week.
The 50th anniversary of that heinous attack was observed today in a church filled with a multiracial group of attendees being taught by the Rev. Arthur Price the same Sunday School lesson that was heard 50 years ago on this date.
The title of that lesson? 'A Love That Forgives'.
A 50th anniversary commemoration service with Atty General Eric Holder as one of the speakers scheduled to attend it will take place later today.
50 years later we mourn the four little girls whose lives were tragically ended on that day and consider the fact that if the bombers intent was to weaken the resolve of the civil rights warriors of that time to cease and desist in their pursuit of full human rights for African-Americans and ending Jim Crow segregation, they utterly failed.
The bombing mere weeks after the March on Washington upped the human rights stakes, brought additional international attention to the African-American civil rights struggle and helped prod Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
But we still have work to do The Forces of Intolerance are on the march and rolling out Jim Crow 2.0 in their desperate attempt to roll back our hard won human rights progress paid for with the blood of our civil rights martyrs and foot soldiers aided and abetted by five robed conservative members of the Supreme Court.
We've come too far as a nation and a people to let them roll that progress back without a fight, and this event reminds us of what it cost us to make that progress.