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Woman who survived 16th Street Baptist Church bombing visits Huntsville

Sarah Rudolph was in the same room as the four girls who died at the time of the bombing.

Posted: Feb 18, 2019 10:52 PM

Sarah Rudolph was in the same room as Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Rudolph's sister Addie Mae Collins, and Cynthia Wesley when Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed in September 1963.

"That noise of that bomb took a lot out of me," Rudolph said.

Rudolph said she couldn't even talk about it from the time it happened when she was twelve until she was in her late 30's.

"I was still real traumatized, and I didn't want to talk about it," Rudolph said.

On September 15, 1963 members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the church during services, killing four and injuring at least fourteen. Rudolph was seriously injured in the explosion. Today she travels the country telling people her account of what happened that day.

"God gave me my voice back to go ahead on and start talking about it," Rudolph said.

She shared a message of unity.

"Back there then people hated us because we was black and wanted to get rid of us, but it's time now that we start loving one another and stop looking at race," Rudolph said.

Rudolph has been back to the 16th Street Baptist Church. She said she has gone back for funerals, meetings, and to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

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