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Barbara Cross Interviewed on October 15, 2012

Barbara Cross Interviewed on October 15, 2012

BCRI Oral History Collection
Transcript
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00:00:18 - Introduction of Interview

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Partial Transcript: I want to thank you so much for making a trip, also, to do this. Today is Monday, October 15, and the year is 2012.

Segment Synopsis: Interview subject is introduced.

GPS: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Map Coordinates: 33.516200, -86.813870
Hyperlink: BCRI Homepage
00:01:11 - Growing Up in Virginia

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Partial Transcript: Growing up in Richmond, I remember being a happy little girl.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls what it was like growing up in Richmond, Virginia.

Keywords: Birmingham (Ala.); Richmond (Va.)

Subjects: Girl Scouts of the United States of America; Kilmonic (Va.)

00:02:53 - Family Background and Moving to Birmingham

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me what you remember about arrival in this city, and do you know what, if any, preconceived notions you had about Birmingham?

Segment Synopsis: Cross discusses what it was like moving to Birmingham and what her community was like.

Keywords: Richmond (Va.); Titusville (Al).

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; Birmingham (Ala.); Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, Ala.)

00:11:02 - Everyday Life in Birmingham

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Partial Transcript: Just what everyday life was like...

Segment Synopsis: Cross tells what everyday life was like when her family first arrived in Birmingham.

Keywords: Leeds (Ala.); Racial disparity

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, Ala.)

00:13:57 - Personal Recollection of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me your first memory of, discussion of, the movement? And maybe Monday night meetings...

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls what she remembers experiencing during the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.

Keywords: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, Birmingham, Ala., 1963; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, Ala.)

00:20:14 - Aftermath of the Bombing

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Partial Transcript: Because she knew. And she said, 'Where's Lynn?' and we can't find Lynn.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls the immediate aftermath of the bombing and how Dr. King came to visit her father.

Keywords: Birmingham (Ala.); King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968

Subjects: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, Birmingham, Ala., 1963

00:27:57 - Living in Fear in Birmingham

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Partial Transcript: Did life turn back to normal? Not for me, because the sound of that day still reverberated in my mind for about ten years.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls how after the bombing she spent her life living in fear.

Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder

Subjects: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, Birmingham, Ala., 1963; Birmingham (Ala.)

00:31:40 - Memories from the Bombing Trial

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Partial Transcript: OK, well, he blamed himself for the bombing, and he was giving them all the information about, because he had testified about from the grand jury, and one of my neighbors brought my dad over to Birmingham for that.

Segment Synopsis: Cross discusses what life was like during the bombing trial.

Keywords: Blanton, Thomas; Ku Klux Klan

Subjects: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, Birmingham, Ala., 1963; Birmingham (Ala.)

00:37:40 - Her Father's Impact on the Civil Rights Movement

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Partial Transcript: But I miss my friends, but I like to think that, they are angels of change.

Segment Synopsis: Cross discusses her father's impact on the Civil Rights Movement.

Keywords: Alabama State University; Atlanta (Ga.); Lee, Spike

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); Civil rights movement

00:48:39 - Meeting Emmett Till's Mother

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Partial Transcript: Right, right, and I met Ms. Till, now I'm reminded that you should say that, when I came over on one of the tours, she was with John Lewis' group, and I come over here every year with Ms. Lowery's group.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls meeting Emmitt Till's mother.

Keywords: Reverend John Cross

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); Till, Emmett, 1941-1955

00:49:53 - Recalling Her Father Searching the Bombing Rubble

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Partial Transcript: He had to, to show with his camera what ... four beautiful girls look like when they came out of the church.

Segment Synopsis: Cross discusses her father going through the rubble of the church after the bombing.

Keywords: Lee, Spike

Subjects: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, Birmingham, Ala., 1963; Birmingham (Ala.)

00:53:08 - Life at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church After the Bombing

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me, if you remember, of if you remember your father talking about, the weeks and months after this happened.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls what it was like in the church after the bombing and how she testified in the trial.

Keywords: Birmingham-Southern College; Southern Poverty Law Center. Civil Rights Education Project

Subjects: Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, Ala.)

01:03:01 - Her Siblings' Experience of Segregation and the Movement

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Partial Transcript: Uh, Michael, all I remember, and I don't know whether this is the type of effect he has, he used to always say when he got to be a teenager, that he never wanted to work for a white person.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls how her siblings behaved after the bombing and how they integrated Ramsey High School.

Keywords: Blacks--Segregation; Ramsey High School

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); Integration

01:09:26 - Her Family's Experience of the Conclusion of the Trial

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Partial Transcript: Doug Jones, yeah. Yes, he came to my father's homegoing service. Him and Sidney Sheldon.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls how her father's health was in decline but he still made it to the conclusion of the trial.

Keywords: Blanton, Thomas; Jones, Doug

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.); Birmingham (Ala.)

01:12:20 - Sacredness of Birmingham After the Movement

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Partial Transcript: You know, people come here from all over the world every day and they are on a pilgrimage.

Segment Synopsis: Cross discusses how she enjoys that people travel to Birmingham to reflect on the past and to see how far the Movement has come.

Keywords: Angels of Change; Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Ala.)

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, Ala.)

01:18:03 - Sharing Her Story

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Partial Transcript: I like speaking engagements, but one thing was the best thing I think I ever did.

Segment Synopsis: Cross recalls her most important interview where she talked about her experience in the bombing.

Keywords: Oregon; Reverend John Cross

Subjects: Reflections from a Violent Past

01:22:36 - Conclusion of Interview

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Partial Transcript: We can get a new tape, or we can say it is done.

Segment Synopsis: Interview is concluded.