The Book of Revelations: From Bombingham to Obama by Katy Ridnouer
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Addie Mae Collins. Does her name sound familiar? She and three of her friends died on September 15, 1963 when the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters had been meeting regularly at 16th Street for planning sessions. They were planning on equality and planning the how, when, and where for their demands. The KKK wouldn’t have it; they made their own plans and sent their own demands that Sunday morning: Shut up or die.
Three days after the bombing, Martin Luther King eulogized the girls, these “sweet princesses.” He set the people’s palms to praying and their feet to marching. This bomb that had been set to silence Negroes blasted the Civil Rights Movement into motion.
Once the mourning ceased, these four girls, Addie Mae, Denise, Cynthia, and Carole, were buried in a history book. But another page was turning, a page that wasn’t seen until 1998 when the public saw bones sticking out of plots at Greenwood Cemetery, the girls’ cemetery. “Move them!” the public demanded. “These civil rights heroes deserve better!” When the earth was dug up, there was nothing in the dirt below Addie Mae’s headstone—no coffin, no bones, no nothing. Where is she?
Katy Ridnouer was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina and lived there for eighteen brief months. She returned to her birth state after ten moves with her military family and marriage to her high school sweetheart. In 2007, she and her family moved to Ireland. Although her husband's ancestors were from Ireland, it was she who fell under the spell of the Irish life.
Katy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Education degree at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is the author of two books for teachers: Managing Your Classroom with Heart and Everyday Engagement. Katy wrote Hillwalking for all of us finding our way; it is her first novel. She currently teaches Developmental English at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, and enjoys creating a life there with her husband and three boys.