Birmingham Church Bombing

16th Street Baptist Church 1963

The Victims of the Bombing

The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

My book features a boy who lives in Flint Michigan with his younger sister, older brother and two parents. In an attempt to knock some sense into his trouble making older brother the family drives down to Birmingham and leave him with their grandmother. Their trip spirals downhill when his younger sister goes to sunday school on the day of the Birmingham 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing.

My Books Connection to the Bombing

I read The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. In the book the main characters sister is almost a victim of the church bombing. The boy ends up in the church and this is how he describes it “I looked into the church and saw smoke and dust flying around like a tornado was in there. One light from the ceiling was still hanging down by a wire, flickering and swinging back and forth, and every once in a while I could see stuff inside. I could see a couple of grown-ups moving around looking lost, trying to pick things up, then the smoke would cover them, and then the bulb would flicker out and they’d disappear. I could see Bibles and coloring books thrown all over the place, then they’d get covered by the smoke. I could see a shiny, shiny black shoe lying halfway underneath some concrete, then it got covered with smoke, and then the lightbulb flickered out again.”

Excerpt From: Christopher Paul Curtis. “The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963.”

The Time it Took

It took 37 full years for all four of the bombers to be prosecuted. Robert Chambliss was witnessed putting a box under the steps on the church wasn't arrested till 1977 due to evidence that was not used in the original trial. Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry were not accused and arrested till 2000.

Above is my Primary Document

This video is of the effects of the church bombing to a near by attorneys house. This is an example of the aftermath from the bomb witch the books charcter described in the fist paragraph.