Birmingham church bombing of 1963 By Kyleigh Stark

Background information

There were many events leading to this tragedy. Racism was horrible in the south at the time, and more and more laws were being made to give them more rights, which made racists angry in the south. 3 members of the ku klux klan decided to act upon their beliefs. On September 15th, 1963, the KKK caused a bomb blast in a church of african americans, and where lots of civil rights leaders typically met up for meetings, killing 4 young girls, and injuring at least 14 more people at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

The four girls that were killed in the bombing.

There was a fifth girl, who wasn't killed, but was greatly injured. She was sisters with one of the girls who was killed and was with her before the bombings occurred. She lost her eyesight in one of her eyes and was taken to the hospital immediately. In the first four minutes of this video, Sarah Collins Rudolf explains her experience during the time 50 years later:

Goal of the event

The KKK wanted to keep separation between the races, because they didn't like African Americans. They wanted to prove their point and scare/hurt them as a "political protest".

  • The church was mainly consisted of African Americans and was also held as a meeting place for all civil rights leaders. Because it really stood for equality and desegregation, it was a big target for the three members of the Ku Klux Klan, who was responsible for the bombing and was later charged with murder.
  • The governor of Alabama was also for the races being separate, and didn't wan't to enforce the new laws which caused people to act out.
  • Martin Luther King jr gave a speech after all the rioting, hoping to put a stop to all of the madness.
Martin Luther King Jr (left) and George Wallace (right). 5

There were lots of obstacles to overcome. Birmingham was the most racist town in the country and since the laws were poorly enforced, the black community was robbed of their rights. Because of this, they participated in protests, they marched, and stood up for what they believed in to overcome these obstacles.


Because of this tragedy, it impacts us today because it finally caused the law to be enforced like it should have been and for the president and the government to make some real changes to prevent cruel things like this from happening ever again to the community. Because of this, there has been a huge decrease in racism and violence towards African Americans.

Modern inequality

In 2015, a white supremacist named Dylan Roof went to a black church for a bible study. About 15 minutes after arriving, he shot and killed 9 people, and injured more. It was a hate crime because he believed that “black people have been killing white people for years” and took this as a way to get revenge because he believed his people were superior to black people, and that this was a political protest against them. This is similar to the Birmingham church bombing because it was also a "political protest" because the KKK didn't like their race and that they were becoming less separate and more united with white people.

Dylan Roof (Left), and the 9 victims that were shot and killed.(Right)

Works cited

  1. Birmingham Bombing (Sixteenth Street Baptist Church). (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2017, from
  2. Sanchez, R., & O'Shea, K. (2016, December 10). Mass shooter Dylann Roof, with a laugh, confesses, 'I did it' Retrieved April 26, 2017
  3. Staff. (2010). Birmingham Church Bombing. Retrieved April 26, 2017


Created with images by ell brown - "St Mary the Virgin - The Parish Church of Acocks Green" • Image Editor - "13bombingVictim19630514"

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