I am reposting this post from early 2018 since today is Martin Luther King Jr, day.
I was born in Birmingham Alabama in 1963. My mother was pregnant with me through some historic events that happened that year in this city. I would not learn what happened during that time until much later. My parents were not from the south. They ended up there because of my dad’s job in the middle 50’s. My mom grew up in New York and my dad grew up in Argentina, moving to American in his late teens. When I was young, my friends thought my parents were from another planet since they didn’t have southern accents. I didn’t know the small park in the pictures below existed. I grew in northern Birmingham going to a Catholic grade school and then a public high school. I don’t remember learning about any of the events that took place the year I was born. It wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta after college and became interested in history that I heard the stories about “Bombingham”.
My sister and I spent some time at Kelly Ingram Park during my visit over Easter weekend. Neither of us had ever been there before. The park is located across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church where 4 young girls were killed when a bomb went off in the church on a Sunday Morning in 1963. The park now has many statues and sculptures related to the civil rights movements.
The famous “Foot Soldiers” statue depicts a scene of what happened in May of 1963.
More sculptures in the park.
The statue of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Four Spirits statue that depicts the 4 young girls that died in the church bombing in September 1963.
Roses next to the Four Spirits statue.
Across from the park, the 16th Street Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr. was a frequent speaker. There’s a lot of history in this building that you can read about here.