Tonight, a few lives remembered from the Civil Rights era. They would have been in their early 60’s now — grandmothers, perhaps. Denise McNail, Carol Robertson, Addie May Collins and Cynthia Wesley were killed 50 years ago today in one of the worst acts of violence during the Civil Rights Movement. Also remembered tonight, Demetrius Newton, a Civil Rights attorney and Alabama legislator.
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Finally, the connection.
Tonight, a few lives remembered from the Civil Rights era.
They would have been in their early 60's now grandmothers, perhaps. Maybe nearing the end of their careers — or enjoying retirement. Instead, Denise McNair, Carol Robertson, Addie May Collins and Cynthia Wesley were killed 50 years ago today in one of the worst acts of violence during the civil rights movement. They died on a Sunday morning when the church they attended, the 16th street baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed .
This recollection is from a new documentary called "Preserving Justice."
I could remember seeing my teacher, Ms. Wesly. Her daughter was one of the ones that was killed in the bombing. Cynthia Wesley. And I could remember her sitting on the stoop outside the emergency room crying.
The man in this picture lived in Alabama then, as well. You may never have heard of Demetrius Newton. But he was a Civil Rights attorney who worked with Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin luther king Jr. During that very dangerous era . He was interviewed for the same documentary.
One day, while in college, I saw two white police officers manhandle a young black woman that i knew. I think that was the catalyst that perhaps led me to choose a career.
Later, Newton served as president pro tem of the Alabama house, the first African American ever to do so.
"Preserving Justice"Birmingham Bar FoundationBirmingham Bar AssociationMagic City Bar AssociationUniversity of Alabama Center for Public Television and RadioPhoto Credit: Dionne Whetstone The "Preserving Justice" documentary will be broadcast on Alabama Public Television Sunday, October 13th at 6:00 p.m. and more information is available at: PreservingJustice.org.