Four Little Girls

Every year, since 2012, I have posted this piece I wrote. In light of today’s racial unrest, particularly from the campaign trail, we need to hear these words more today than ever.

By Vince Gonzales, September, 2012

Four little girls. So few remember the event, fewer remember their names.

Four little girls on 16th Street in Birmingham, Alabama.

Four little girls, on a Sunday morning, walking into church. A box of dynamite, planted under the steps with a timer.

Four little girls, with 18 of their friends, entering the basement to hear a sermon…”The Love That Forgives.”

Four little girls, their lives ended by hate.

Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley.

Four little girls, a moment of time, frozen in our hearts and minds, so many years ago today…on that Sunday morning in church.

I, for one, will say their names today.

I will say their names with a resounding voice.

Let our collective voices be louder than that hate-filled explosion.

May the memory of the sacrifices Addie Mae, Denise, Carol and Cynthia made never be forgotten.

Not martyrs by choice, just four little girls.

Four little girls that changed the world.

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About Vince Gonzales

United Methodist Laity, married to a recent Seminary graduate seeking ordination. Active at all levels of the Church, I sit on the Board of The General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church, one of our 13 UMC Agencies. I also am the Chair of the Racial and Social Justice Task Force of Churches Uniting in Christ, an ecumenical group of communions, dedicated to the reconciliation of ministries and fighting racism, as well as representing the UMC at Christian Churches Together's Hispanic/Latinx Ministry Gatherings. Additionally, I am one of two committee members from the South Central Jurisdiction serving on the DisAbility Ministries Committee of the UMC. My polity pendulum often swings to both extremes so one never knows what they might find on this page!
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