While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement

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Overview

Fifteen-year-old Carolyn Maull McKinstry was just a few feet away when the Klan-planted bomb that killed four of her friends exploded in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. It was one of the seminal moments in the Civil Rights movement, a sad day in American history . . . and the turning point in a young girl's life.

Carolyn's story is a poignant and gripping eyewitness account of what it was like to grow up in the Jim Crow South -- from the bombings, ...

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Overview

Fifteen-year-old Carolyn Maull McKinstry was just a few feet away when the Klan-planted bomb that killed four of her friends exploded in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. It was one of the seminal moments in the Civil Rights movement, a sad day in American history . . . and the turning point in a young girl's life.

Carolyn's story is a poignant and gripping eyewitness account of what it was like to grow up in the Jim Crow South -- from the bombings, riots, and assassinations to the historic marches and triumphs that characterized the Civil Rights era.

A unique and moving exploration of how racial relations have evolved over the past five decades, While the World Watched is an incredible testament to how far we've come -- and how far we have yet to go.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
02/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—As an eyewitness to the infamous 1963 bombing of Birmingham, Alabama's 16th Street Baptist Church, McKinstry's story is a compelling one. Not only does she speak about being at the church at the time of the bombing that killed four of her friends, but also about her lifelong struggle in coming to terms with her guilt about her own survival and her anger at the senseless, murderous act. After being knocked to the ground in the bombing, McKinstry tried to find her friends and her brothers, who were also at the church. Her brothers were found, but she soon learned that her four friends had died in the restroom where they had all chatted only minutes before. In 1963, there were no grief counselors to help McKinstry recover from the trauma. She was expected to go to school the next day and carry on with her responsibilities. The suppressed stress eventually lead to alcohol abuse when she was a college student and a young mother. Felicia Bullock narrates the personal story with subtle emotion and grace. The story is interspersed with many quotations from figures in the Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr. The significance of each quoted statement is indisputable, but the monotone with which they are delivered distracts somewhat from McKinstry's gripping personal story. This narrative (Tyndale House, 2011) is also an uplifting tale of the power of McKinstry's Christian faith. It is an inspirational personal account and a glimpse back 50 years to a troubling time in the United States.—Ann Weber, Bellarmine Coll. Prep., San Jose, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613755549
  • Publisher: Oasis Audio
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Maull McKinstry is a survivor of the Civil Rights struggle and an eyewitness to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. As a teenager, she marched under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and bravely faced Bull Connor's German shepherds and stinging fire hoses during the battle for equal rights in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

Now, nearly fifty years after the bombing, Carolyn is still an active member of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, serves as president of the Sixteenth Street Foundation, and works full time spreading her message of racial reconciliation.

A highly sought-after speaker, she has appeared on Oprah, 20/20,CNN,and MSNBC, and portions of her story have been featured in Life magazine and USA Today.She has made numerous television and documentary appearances, including Spike Lee's documentary Four Little Girls; Soledad O'Brien's Black in America; Brian Williams's Shades of Progress, Shadows of Hate; and Family Network's We Shall Not Be Moved.

Carolyn has addressed audiences in New Delhi, Mumbai, Barcelona, and the Italian Baptist Evangelical Union in Rome, as well as the Rosa Parks Museum, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and numerous colleges and universities.

She recently received her master of divinity from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where she currently lives with her husband, Jerome.

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