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    59 Years: Birmingham Church Bombing, Sister Writes Memoir

    BIRMINGHAM CHURCH “A Love That Forgives” was the sermon for that hapless Sunday on September 15, 1963. The preacher never blessed his congregation with that sermon because the 16th Street Baptist Church underwent a bombing. The Ku Klux Klan bombed the basement of the church, where children studied the Bible before service. According to NPR Org, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair would all perish on impact. Denise McNair’s sister, Lisa McNair, recounts her experience being the younger sister of a sibling she never meet. Dear Denise: Letters to the Sister I Never Knew, a memoir telling Lisa’s life being born one year after the bombing.

    According to HISTORY, such occurrences were common in Birmingham during that era, earning the name “Bombingham“. Homemade bombs were used to silence and intimidate the Black community who would demand change and equality. The bombs were planted under the stairwell in the basement of the church to dismay Civil Rights Activists who were rallying the previous week. The bomb would do far more than just dismay the community. It robbed four young women of their innocent lives! 59 years ago today, civil unrest marked the breaking point for the nation.

    Church On Sunday: Lisa’s Memoir To Denise

    1. After the bombing, Lisa McNair mentions the ways Birmingham would change as far as integration and civil rights. She recounts how the bombing shaped her life and how her sister’s death played such a role in that change. The book contains forty letters written from Lisa to Denise, detailing how her family continued to mourn and how their father, Chris McNair, would become one of the first Black lawmakers. Depictions of their mother weeping by Denise’s grave invite vivid memories for her readers to explore. There is a sense of urgency and change in the memoir. It is surely an honorable keepsake!
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