Thirty Birmingham-area churches and temples are marking 50 Years Forward Wednesday by showing Spike Lee's "4 Little Girls" documentary.
The film tells the story of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Lee was the same age as Denise McNair, one of the girls killed in the blast, and the event really affected him.
UAB Professor and Director of Media Studies Michelle Forman worked as an associate producer on the 1997 film. The Birmingham native says Lee hired her where she graduated from Harvard.
"Here was a case where there was deliberate targeting, in a house of worship, on a Sunday school day, as it was announced on the day of the marquee as the children's service. So it was targeted violence to maximize the suffering of the children," Forman said.
When the girls were killed, it sent a blast of sorrow and shock across the country.
"One of the reasons we wanted to tell the story of the four little girls, is that it just was a shocking act of violence. Birmingham was known as bombingham, become dozens and dozens of bombings," Forman said.
Churches and temples across the city will screen the film simultaneously and host a discussion afterwards.
"I think four little girls gets used educationally, I still get letters and questions, of course, more so this year. It was so exciting for me, growing up in Birmingham. I found, it changed my entire career trajectory, because it was such a powerful experience making it," Forman said.
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