FOREVER: Four Little Girls

Fujicolor Crystal Archive emulsion sealed between solid recycled aluminium and a high-gloss UV protective laminate.
Quadriptych, 40 x 30 inches each panel

SEPTEMBER 15, 1963. BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA

Early on the morning of September 15, 1963, four members of the United Klans of America—Bobby Frank Cherry, Thomas Blanton, Herman Frank Cash, and Robert Chambliss— planted a box of dynamite with a time delay under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, near the basement. At about 10:22am, 26 children were walking into the basement assembly room to prepare for the sermon entitled “The Love That Forgives” when the bomb exploded near Addie Mae Collins (age 14), Denise McNair (age 11), Carole Robertson (age 14), and Cynthia Wesley (age 14). All 4 girls were killed and 22 additional people were injured. The Justice Department did not press charges on Chambliss until 14 years after the bombing. However, it wasn’t until 2000 that there was an indictment of Blanton and Cherry. The testimony of Cherry’s family and friends led to his indictment. Cherry had boasted about playing a role in the bombing, claiming to have lit the fuse, and even to have been reported as saying, “You know, I bombed that church.” Throughout the trial, he could be seen in the courtroom smiling and joking with his lawyers. Both Blanton and Cherry were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.