While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement
On September 15, 1963, a Klan-planted bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Fourteen-year-old Carolyn Maull was just a few feet away when the bomb exploded, killing four of her friends in the girl’s rest room she had just exited. 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. While the World Watched is a poignant and gripping eyewitness account of life in the Jim Crow South—from the bombings, riots and assassinations to the historic marches and triumphs that characterized the Civil Rights movement. A uniquely moving exploration of how racial relations have evolved over the past 5 decades, While the World Watched is an incredible testament to how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.
By S. Seaman - January 31, 2011
This memoir, written by a survivor of a Klan-planted bomb that went off in her church and killed four of her teenage girlfriends, both inspired and educated me. Carolyn Maull McKinstry tells of growing up in Birmingham (called "Bombingham" by many at the time) and how the tragic bombing of September 15, 1963 shaped her life for years to come. And though this tragedy occured in church, she looked to Jesus to heal her and help her forgive.
This well-written personal story contains a timeline, photos, copies of Jim Crow Laws and excerpts of speeches from Martin Luther King, Jr., John Kennedy and Governor George Wallace. It is very helpful in getting an overall picture of the segregated south and the Civil Rights Movement.
I plan to use the book when teaching about the Civil Rights movement in our homeschool.
Tyndale House provided me with a review copy of this book which is no way influenced my review.
While The World Watched
By Love in the Truth - February 15, 2011
"Not many young people can pinpoint the exact date, time, and place they grew up and became an adult. I can. It was September 15, 1963, 10:22 a.m., at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama."
While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry (with Denise George) is a moving memoir of horror and forgiveness. What struck me almost every page is that this happened less than 50 years ago. The title kept being played in my head with the question, "How could the world simply let this happen?"
The book details the accounts of the murders of Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley who died when Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed. More than that though, it details the struggles of of the civil rights movement through the eyes of the author. It is simply an amazing account of two wars. One, the fight for equality for Black America, and two, the fight for meaning in the heart of a young girl who was... read more
Informative and thought provoking
By Miss Cindy - June 30, 2011
While the world watched by Carolyn Maul McKinstry. It wasnt' my favorite story. Being as I was not alive during the civil rights nightmare of the 60's I was reading history I knew very little about. Historically I was facinated by the story and disheartened by how little was done for so very long... But the story was difficult to follow. She went in no particular order and I was constantly wondering where this event fit in the overall story. I had to often refer to the timeline in the front of the book. I also felt the placement of letters or excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were distracting. She quoted so many of his speeches, yet not always by the copy of the speech. Maybe an appendix in the back of the book, listing his speeches would have been better? A good read for the historical facts and first hand accounts from Carolyn Maul McKinstry a surviver of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing.
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