Home > Eureka California > 1963 church bombing survivor at Eureka High School

1963 church bombing survivor at Eureka High School

[Text and video by Rick Khamsi.]

Carolyn McKinstry was only 14 when a bomb went off in her church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four of her young friends. Here, she tells Humboldt County, California students and community members about her childhood in the segregated south and the American Civil Rights movement from her perspective. Carolyn says a major reason for her to be speaking out now is that hate speech is becoming, once again, a major part of the American scene. She said that hate cannot kill hate. Only love can kill hate. Her intention is to encourage others to ally themselves with the loving spirit that leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught were the basis of progressive social change.

[Video parts 2 and 3.]

    March 8, 2011 at 7:20 am

    MLK – A Great Man less the adultry that took away from love.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

    March 8, 2011 at 7:55 am

    In the 1950’s I flew with a non-scheduled airline that did troop transports and flew all over the US. In 1956 or 57 I met Martin Luther King in a podunk airport in Alabama. We were there because of the need for a repair and had about 30 soldiers with us. The airport waiting room was for whites only, there were 2 snack places attached to the airport building, one said “whites”, the other “colored”. Everything in the south was like that. A couple of the soldiers were black so I asked the other guys if they wanted to leave 2 of their buddies outside in the hot sun or stay together outside. We stayed outside. Then I saw a black man in a suit striding towards the airport and I told the guys I’d be right back and took off after him. I had recognized this man and followed him into the ticket counter. I stood and watched as the young man behind the counter yes sired and no sired Dr. King and then followed him out of the building. Back then seeing a black man treated with such respect was very unusual but King had something about him that instantly commanded respect, he already had a powerful presence even though he was only in his late 20’s. Being young and stupid I asked if I could join him (oblivious to the fact that a white woman sitting w/ a black man put him in danger) and he moved over on the bench and made room for me. A few moments later Rev. Ralph Abernathy arrived.I had by that time already seen a lot of the reality of the south and it was very ugly. The bottom line that I saw over and over was how the fear and miserable treatment that people of color experienced ate away at their self respect, self image and how it lowered expectations. Very ugly.
    I’m sorry that Jeffrey Lytle felt it necessary to post a put down of Dr. King. Maybe Mr. Lytle is perfect but I know no one else who is perfect.Dr. Kings amazing presence and power cost him his life.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Actually Sylvia,

    I respect the guy for his civil rights movements and to that I say, look at my birthday maam – I have idolized this guy forever for what he is known to have done with the C.R.M., so don’t stain my name in veign.

    Dr. King stepped-out on his wife and children too – it is fact. He was not true blue to the closest people in his life. Sorry that you don’t like that I am straightforward with facts and truth, but great people are not perfect either, nor am I and nor do I claim to be….I am not that stupid……


  4. Anonymous
    March 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

    It’s hilarious to me that you should mention something like “love kills hate” on your blog Larry and Mark Konkler. Funny because your blog never does any of that

  5. Mel-z
    March 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Who’s talking about perfection?

    We’re talking about Love here.

  6. March 8, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I love you, anonymous.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Mel….TRUE DAT, but Sylvia decided to pull the perfection card and use it against me WHICH IS like pulling the race card in some ways, not all, but some. So, just sayin’ no one is perfect, but that no one should be catapulted or symbolized as perfect either.


  8. Free love
    March 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Love for heraldo means educating your children to become sodomites so they can have more sex objects. Love for heraldo is locking you out of a good job with a union. Love for heraldo is denying you the right to build a house on your own property.

    This love ain’t free.

  9. Anonymous
    March 8, 2011 at 8:33 am

    after reading these posts off and on for over a year now, the only thing that i’ve decided is that jeffrey lytle sanity is definitely questionable. what the hell are you talking about man? how did you take this article and start talking about mlk’s adultry? maybe take a break from posting and catch some fresh air.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

    ..with the loving spirit that leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught were the basis of progressive social change……..

    Response: What happened to the family unit during this progressive change 8:33am. Nice pot shot you catapulted upon me though. That was a big rock you slung and I hope you did not throw a joint out or something.


  11. E. Percival Ne'er-do-well Esquire III
    March 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Does it always have to be about your narcissistic ass, Lytle?

  12. Little Lytle
    March 8, 2011 at 9:31 am

    “after reading these posts off and on for over a year now, the only thing that i’ve decided is that jeffrey lytle sanity is definitely questionable.”

    Spend 10-15 minutes talking with him in person and you won’t be left with any room for doubt on this issue,8:33.

  13. tra
    March 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Thanks, Sylvia, for posting your story.

    And good for Eureka High School for bringing Ms. McKinstry to speak to the students. It’s important that we not forget the lessons offered by our past as we try to create a better future.

  14. Anonymous
    March 8, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Anonymous 8:06, I love you so much, I will encourage you to actually watch the videos and listen to what Carolyn said.

  15. kityglitr
    March 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Here’s the thing about MLK. He wasn’t the only person fighting racial oppression. My mother, father, aunts, uncles, grandparents one and all had to live through and protest nonviolently in order to make that change happen. Yes, MLK was a flawed man. We are all flawed. The point I’m trying to make, I guess is that we should learn from ALL the heroes of the civil rights movement. Look up the name Bayard Rustin. He was a gay man, and one of the most vital members of the movement. Oppression and hatred have never gone away. It’s up to us, as citizens working together, to honor the past by NOT FORGETTING IT.

  16. kityglitr
    March 8, 2011 at 11:27 am

    In response to Free Love: in what twisted universe do you live? I have NEVER in my entire 35 years on this planet met a heterosexual person who was “recruited” or swayed to become homosexual. You cannot create something out of nothing. Ask yourself this; could you in all seriousness have sex with someone of the same gender as you? I only ask, because it seems you hold disgust for the physical act of intercourse between two members of the same sex. No one can make you gay. It’s not catching. It doesn’t work like that. Considering most straight men in this country are so vehemently afraid and disgusted by homosexual intercourse, how can you even continue with your flawed logic? It boggles the mind.

  17. March 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Sorry Ms. De Rooy, but “the Henchman,” is a half-wit who, for some reason is allowed to compulsively post idiotic comments on this blog.

  18. March 8, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    If I put the Henchman on moderation I’d have to read his comments. Scroll, baby, scroll.

  19. Eric Kirk
    March 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I was trying to figure out why the first few posts discussed Dr. King rather than the woman herself, who has so far not even been mentioned in the thread. Reminds me of an old Doonesbury strip. Maybe I can find it.

  20. Little Lytle
    March 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    “If I put the Henchman on moderation I’d have to read his comments. Scroll, baby, scroll.”
    Thanks for that, Heraldo!
    I haven’t laughed that hard in ages.

  21. March 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I think it’s an exercise of Free Speech to not interfere with poster you don’t agree with.
    Wouldn’t try to convert the nonconvertible though; no need for improvement when all your ideas are completely correct.
    The very idea of him judging MLK….now that’s funny.

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