While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook  -     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 - eBook

Tyndale House / 2011 / ePub

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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.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 9781414353005
ISBN-13: 9781414353005
Availability: In Stock

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.


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.

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