Birmingham church bombing survivor speaks in Augusta

Saturday, February 16, 2019
(News 12 at 6 o'oclock)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT)--As Black History Month continues, so do the stories, some tragic, some encouraging. The woman known as the "fifth little girl" in the Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls, made a stop in Augusta to share her story, hopeful it would inspire encouragement in spite of the tragedy.

In an Augusta Prep auditorium, full of children on Friday, Sarah Collins-Rudolph shed light on four. Because, in her own words, "everybody should know about them."

This year will make 56 years since four little girls, not much older than the kids sitting in the Augusta Prep audience, walked into Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and never walked out.

"It's something that should have never happened," Collins-Rudolph said. "Not only in a church, it shouldn't happen no where."

An act of racism and terror, in a place representing anything but-- more than a dozen were injured, and four girls killed. One of those girls, Addie Mae Collins, was Sarah Collins-Rudolph's sister. Addie Mae, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Sarah Collins- Rudolph were all together, in the basement part of the church, when the bomb went off.

Collins-Rudolph knows the aftermath too well, because she bears it. The bomb left her blind in one eye after pieces of glass shattered through the church on that deadly day.

"This story teachers them how to love each other, and care for each other because we don't go around the world but once."

She makes her way around the world. piecing together the story of her sister and three other girls' tragic death. Hopeful one speech at a time, can change the world one person at a time.

"Stop looking at the color of people's skin all the time," Rudolph continued,"the color of a person's skin don't let you know what's on
the inside of them."

If you'd like to learn more about this piece of Black History, The Augusta Players is performing it this weekend, Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963. CLICK HERE