Sarah Collins Rudolph lost an eye and has pieces of glass remaining in her body from the KKK blast that left her sister and three other Black girls dead.
Two years ago, Gov. Kay Ivey apologized for the “untold pain and suffering” Rudolph faced from the bombing but said legislative involvement would be needed for her to receive compensation.
Yet, according to Rudolph, no action has been taken by the state since.
The bombing was depicted in Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary 4 Little Girls — Rudolph is known as the “Fifth Little Girl” for surviving the attack.
On the eve of the 59th anniversary of the blast, Rudolph told AP News that she believes the state is in part responsible for the bombing as then-Gov. George C. Wallace employed segregationist rhetoric that empowered the Ku Klux Klan to attack the church.
“If they hadn’t stirred up all that racist hate that was going on at the time I don’t believe that church would have been bombed,” Rudolph said.
Rudolph still faces medical expenses from the bombing and believes she’s due millions.
Five girls were in the downstairs bathroom of 16th Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963, when a bomb planted by the KKK went off outside and blew a hole through the wall. The explosion killed 11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Carole Robertson, Cynthia Morris, also referred to as Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins, who was Rudolph’s sister.
The church itself and the surrounding Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument received funds from the government as a result of the bombing.
“But not me,” Rudolph said.
According to legislative records, no bills have been introduced to compensate Rudolph.