Four Little Girls: Carole Robertson - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Four Little Girls: Carole Robertson

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Carole Robertson came from a large family of educators. Her father was a musician and her mother, a school librarian. Carole Robertson came from a large family of educators. Her father was a musician and her mother, a school librarian.
A baby photo of Carole A baby photo of Carole
Dianne, Alpha (their mom) and Carole Robertson Dianne, Alpha (their mom) and Carole Robertson
(AP) Carole Robertson's funeral, seated are her older sister Dianne Robertson Braddock, her father, Alvin and mother, Alpha. (AP) Carole Robertson's funeral, seated are her older sister Dianne Robertson Braddock, her father, Alvin and mother, Alpha.

Robertson was born the last of three children to a family of educators. Her father was a musician, her mother a school librarian.

Carole's Sister, Dianne Robertson Braddock said, "We were a close family, we did a lot of stuff together as a family."

And Carole was involved in school and her community as a library assistant at Wilkerson Elementary, she was a Junior Girl Scout, a member of an African-American family organization - Jack and Jill, and later played clarinet at Parker High School.

Five years older than Carole, and a college student, Dianne Robertson Braddock was working for the summer in New York, when her sister was murdered.

Robertson Braddock said, "It was just unbelievable, very hard to understand..."

Carole was in the bathroom of 16th Street Baptist Church along with Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Morris Wesley and Denise McNair, when a bomb planted by suspected KKK members, went off, killing them and injuring scores others. That includes Sara Collins Rudolph, who was also in the bathroom and survived that fateful day.

Braddock said, "It was just very, very painful and I think all of us went through it, just going through the motions..."

Braddock said, "They were so hurt. My father I think never got over it and my brother never did either."

The Robertson family made a choice to not be part of the mass funeral with the three other little girls families, instead opting to have a private one.

Braddock said, "But I agree with my mother's decision, I'm very happy that we had our own private ceremony ... I looked at what happened with the others, that was a lot. something like that is very personal, I believe."

Today - Braddock uses her sister's death as a teaching tool - explaining what the Civil Rights Movement was about - voting rights and equality.

Braddock said, "You had to pay money to vote, after you paid your poll tax, then you had to take a test, most of the tests were set up that you didn't pass them."

And years later when those responsible for the bombing were convicted, Braddock and her family learned a different lesson.

Braddock said, "You can't ever have closure but what it did do, for me and my mother, particularly was to understand that even after all that long time, they were brought to justice."

As for equality today?

Braddock said, "We do have equality but I worry, about some of the stop and frisk laws, some of the things that are happening now in our communities, where we wonder about equality and justice, whether we're getting equal treatment."

An equal treatment, many can agree, not given 50 years ago... when Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Morris Wesley and Denise McNair were murdered at 16th Street Baptist Church.

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