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Carole Robertson Biography

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Carole Robertson Biography:

Produced on April 24, 1949, Carole Robertson grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. On September 15, 1963, a 14-year old Robertson was killed, as well as three other young sufferers, when her church was blasted by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their awful deaths led to more support for the Civil Rights Movement. Alvin was an educator having an interest in music, and Carole was a musical kid herself.

Having seen 50 racially targeted bombings since 1945, Carole Robertson’s hometown was occasionally called “Bombingham.” Though her parents wished to shield their daughter, not permitting her to go out alone during the night, the family also continued to lead a routine existence. One element of the routine was attending services in the 16th Street Baptist Church, a nerve center for the city’s African American community that had also functioned as a gathering place for leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

While she was preparing to get a “Youth Day” service, a bomb went off at 10:22 a.m., killing the 14-year old. Three other young girls were killed in the blast 14-year olds Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley, and 11-year old Denise McNair and more than 20 other people were injured. Horrified by the strike, demonstrations followed in Birmingham, during which two African American boys were killed, one by a police officer.

After identifying his daughter’s own body, Alvin Robertson came home and broke a veranda door in his despair. Although three other casualties had a funeral service together, Carole’s family made a decision to hold an exclusive service to the Tuesday after the assault—as her sister, Dianne, afterwards described, “The world was upset and damage, but it was our family’s despair.” The bombing had shocked the whole nation, as well as in its wake support grew for the Civil Rights Act, which became law in 1964. Ku Klux Klan member Robert “Dynamite” Chambliss was detained following the bombing, but was just found guilty of possessing dynamite. Years after, Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley had Chambliss charged with homicide.

In 2000, the FBI detained two other Klan members for the bombing. Thomas Blanton Jr. was convicted in 2001. A year after, Bobby Frank Cherry was found guilty. Both got life sentences; Cherry died in prison in 2004. Herman Frank Cash, a fourth defendant, expired in 1994, before he could face charges. Alpha Robertson passed away in 2002, after testifying at both Blanton’s as well as Cherry’s trials.

In the years which have passed since the bombing, Carole Robertson is still remembered. Dianne, who’d been pregnant during the time of her sister’s departure, chose to name her daughter after Carole. Jack and Jill of America instituted Carole Robertson Day; every September, the organization honours Carole while developing knowledge of problems associated with human rights and racial equality. The Carole Robertson Center for Learning, positioned in Chicago, Illinois, was also set up in her honour.

Thirty years following the bombing, activist Angela Davis, a pal of Dianne’s who’d thought of Carole as a younger sister, declared, “I want to remember not just the terror that maintained [Carole Robertson’s] life and that of her Sunday school buddies, but additionally the favorable lives they asserted for themselves as adolescent girls.” On September 10, 2013, Robertson, McNair, Collins and Wesley received a Congressional Gold Medal one of the best civilian honours in the United States. The racially motivated assault killed four young girls and shocked the country.

Carole Robertson Biography