I’m a girl from Tulsa, Oklahoma who happens to be in the place of where the 1921 Race Riot happened in the Greenwood Area of downtown Tulsa. When I first told a friend I was doing a historical novel in Alabama. The friend was like “What about the 1921 race riot?” I didn’t tell her but I have only lived in Tulsa for twenty –four years. Already great people have written about the race riot. An African-American lawyer Hannibal Johnson has written about it.
Not Tulsa, but Alabama interested me. The lives of the four girls who lost their lives in the 16 Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, when their church was bombed on September 15, 1963. I recalled hearing about these girls at the age ten or eleven. In my mind, I thought they had died in the basement of the church. This began my inherent fear of basements in the bottom of the church.
The church has been restored since fifty y-one years ago. One woman who went to the church, her name is Carolyn McKinstry tells of the aftermath in While the World Watched. She tells of her survivor guilt and possibly she may have suffered from PTSD. Actually, McKinstry still serves at the church. I believe you can watch her interview on CBN.com. We must remember the people who have faced trials and still came out victorious. It is about not becoming a victimized by our circumstances and allowing it defeat us.
It is important with any setback is not to allow it to defeat us. So, today just remember that you are not a victim, but a victor.