In 1963, Birmingham, Ala., became a hotbed in the civil rights movement.
On Monday, staff, students and a sister of one of the girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1963, will outline that and other key events that year in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Convocation at Brownell-Talbot School.
The event, free and open to the public, will feature Junie Collins Williams. Now of San Antonio, she was 16 when the blast at the church killed her 14-year-old sister, Addie Mae, and three other girls ages 11 to 14.
Another sister, Sarah Collins Rudolph, was with the four who were killed. She survived but spent two months in a hospital and lost sight in one eye. The bombing set off racial rioting and other violence in which two African-American boys were shot to death.
The bombing came after marches and sit-ins against racism and segregation in the city. King was arrested there and jailed. On April 16, 1963, he wrote what became known as the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” which defended the use of nonviolent resistance to racism.
The event also will include readings by students of excerpts from King's speeches, as well as music and imagery.
The convocation will begin at 9 a.m. in the upper school's Scott Gymnasium. Brownell-Talbot is at 400 N. Happy Hollow Blvd.
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