While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement  -     By: Carolyn McKinstry, Denise George
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While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement

Tyndale House / 2011 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Carolyn Maull McKinstry is a survivor of the Civil Rights struggle and an eyewitness to the Sept. 15, 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. As a teenager, she marched under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and bravely faced Bull Connor's German shepherds and stinging fire hoses during the battle for equal rights in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. While the World Watched is a personal eyewitness account of life in the South from a young girl's vantage point. Bombings, riots, assasinations, and civil rights marches were all a daily part of Carolyn's life in Alabama. As you explore this recent time in history, it's wonderful to see how far we've come and a wake-up call to how far we've yet to go. Focus on the Family Recommendation.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1414336365
ISBN-13: 9781414336367
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Info

Carolyn Maull McKinstry is a survivor of the civil rights struggles and an eyewitness to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. A highly sought-after speaker, Carolyn has appeared on Oprah, 20/20, CNN, and MSNBC. Portions of her story have been featured in Life magazine and USA Today. She recently completed her MDiv at Beeson Divinity School. She currently lives in Birmingham with her husband, Jerome.
Denise George is the author of 24 books, including coauthor of The Secret Holocaust Diaries. She currently lives in Birmingham with her husband, Dr. Timothy George.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

In her memoir, While the World Watched, Carolyn McKinstry writes about the struggles, fears, and hopes she experienced while coming of age during the Civil Rights movement. McKinstry, who spent her childhood in Alabama, was one of the survivors of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham in 1963. Recounting the happenings before and after the bombing, she traces the events of the Civil Rights movement and the widespread effects of racism, following her journey from fear and hate to hope and forgiveness.

Carolyn McKinstry was only fourteen years old when a bomb planted by the Ku Klux Klan took the lives of her four best friends and left her with a drastically altered view of humanity. The explosion, which she missed by mere seconds, made the horror of racism a reality in her mind and planted a longing in her heart for things to be righted. Her story is one of loss and sorrow, but it is also one of recovery and forgiveness, dotted with hopeful childhood memories and moments of bravery in the face of prejudice and segregation. It also follows her adulthood struggles with depression and hate brought on by the Birmingham bombing, and the hurdles she had to face many years later. In the process of overcoming her difficulties, Carolyn holds to Matthew 22:39, learning what it means to "love your neighbor as yourself," and in forgiving those around her, she finds healing.

While the World Watched is an eye-opening book that captures the essence of life in the South during the turmoil of the 1960s. Although sometimes tragic, McKinstry's story offers a message of hope and love despite oppression and hate. The book is an excellent reminder of the wounds racism creates and the great bravery and forgiveness it takes to heal them. – Chelsea Molin, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

The nation's collective memory of the civil rights movement depends largely on journalists and biographers who witnessed the snarling dogs and brutal racist tactics used to enforce and defend segregation in the South. In a more personal account, McKinstry, a survivor of the Ku Klux Klan bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., offers the rare perspective of both a child and an eyewitness to some of the most jarring aspects of blacks' fight for civil rights. Her tale of surviving the bombing, which killed four of her friends on September 15, 1963, vividly describes the force of water from fire hoses that left a hole in her sweater; the ominous call moments before the bomb exploded; and the clouds that formed in her mental sky when she realized that the childhood innocence her parents had relied on to shield her from racism was gone. The text of speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. and short summaries of Jim Crow laws are an educational addition to the narrative, but in boxes alongside the main narrative, they are also a visual distraction from the main text. Depending on the reader's knowledge of the racial disparities McKinstry grew up enduring, the additions will read as repetitive or informative. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.8 Stars Out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 11
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  1. Amy C
    VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    While the World Watched
    July 21, 2014
    Amy C
    VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    While the World Watched is an amazing read. It amazes me how cruel the world can be. I cannot grasp the cruelty Carolyn and others like her endured in her lifetime. I was born in the south a decade after the civil rights movement. I did not see how those Jim Crow Laws affected people. Or see those senseless signs saying Colored or Whites Only. The civil rights era was such a violent time. I have heard stories or seen documentaries about it. Carolyn's story puts everything into a new perspective. How could a free country treat free people that way?

    I did enjoy this book. So inspiring to learn the power of forgiveness. Carolyn is an inspiring person of her race - the human race. The book includes Martin Luther King's speeches, list of the senseless Jim Crow Laws, and various letters from people of the era to the present time.

    I recommend this book to those who wants to learn more of the civil rights movement from an inspiring woman who lived through it. It is one of those books that makes the reader think about it long after it is been read.

    5 stars.
  2. eb7bibliophile
    High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Intense and Educational
    July 5, 2014
    eb7bibliophile
    High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This beautiful lady gives us a personal glimpse into a tragic day and era, as well as a brave look into her own pain and devastation, so that we can see her healing and gain insight into forgiveness. The message is one of love and reconciliation, after opening our eyes to the evils of the racial situation. The events are depicted in a professional and compelling way with her co-author. The quotes from speeches and reports enhance the narrative. They give it more historical interest. The photos are illuminating and some are chilling. They help make the account more real. Despite some repetition, this is an excellent and worthwhile book.
  3. Jennie Wren
    Royalton, MN
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Huge impact
    June 27, 2014
    Jennie Wren
    Royalton, MN
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I was only three years old when the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed. Combined with the fact I grew up in Wisconsin and North Dakota, I had no idea of the details of this tragedy, much less the big picture of the life of black people in the South and the Civil Rights Movement. I have not yet read two biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr. that sit on my shelf, but I had at least heard of the bombing. Carolyn's story filled a huge hole in my consciousness of the events that have shaped our country. It's the story of Carolyn's experiences that day and how her life was forever impacted by them - but she places her experiences within the context of the larger Civil Rights struggles all over the South. I'm very grateful she put these things into words.
  4. Virginia
    upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting
    June 10, 2014
    Virginia
    upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the true story of a bombing that took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. The author was in the building that was bombed and tells her story, both before and after the event. I thought this book was good and an interesting and true picture of life during the Civil Rights movement.
  5. abookandacuppa
    Prairie Village, KS
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An inspirational tale of forgiveness
    June 4, 2011
    abookandacuppa
    Prairie Village, KS
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    This story of a survivor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963 is informative, heart wrenching, and inspirational. Highly recommended!
Displaying items 1-5 of 11
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