Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: While the World Watched

Review: While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement
Carolyn Maul McKinstry with Denise George
Tyndale House Publishers
Poignant. Essential reading, for the young and the not so young. This is her story, but it is much more than that. I too came of age during that time, but had no idea anything like was happening in my country; a country I had been taught believed all men are created equal. This only happened in some far off dictator led place. Here, no. I remember seeing the news reports of the events that she mentions but I did not understand their importance at the time. In my part of the country only the Vietnam War mattered. We were preventing the spread of communism. How ironic. Stop one form of oppression while ignoring our own. We are more aware now, right? Not too sure if that’s true.
McKinstry reveals her heart as well as her history in this book. She does so gently and honestly. There’s no venting of anger or wallowing in pity. She speaks of her difficulty in coping with some of the events most frankly. As she said several times in the book, her community just did not talk about such things and she was left to process her emotions alone. The story of her grandmother’s final days was so touching. All I can say is “Thank you, Mrs. McKinstry, for this gift.” Included in this book are the texts of several speeches or letters from the period, a timeline of her life, and pictures of the author and others mostly from her youth.
Please read this book to see the human side, good and bad, of this nearly forgotten time in our history. There is too much at risk, even now, to lose this piece of our history. This is a story of hope and perseverance. I recommend it highly.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.

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