On Friday, September 13, 2019, Coca-Cola UNITED proudly supported Congresswoman Terri Sewell as she hosted the presentation of Four Little Girls in Washington D.C. The production included a play and panel discussion commemorating the 56th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four innocent girls.
The production was originally produced by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and performed by Montgomery public school students. The Washington performance and panel was in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 2019 annual legislative conference.
The storyline centers around the lives of the bombing victims: Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia D. Morris Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins. Through the performance, the audience was invited in to the possibilities of what those girls might have gone on to do in their lives, had they not been killed in the bombing. Congresswoman Sewell believes that the event was an excellent opportunity for attendees to face the discomfort of our country’s painful past and consider what might have been, had a Ku Klux Klansman not set off the bomb that robbed four girls of their futures and injured dozens more.
17 staff members from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Montgomery Public Schools made the 800-mile trip to D.C., along with 23 student actors. Some of
the cast members had already graduated since the original ASF production, but that didn’t stop them from participating in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Pamela Cook, Director of Multicultural Marketing and Community Affairs, attended the performance. “It was humbling to spend time with Lisa McNair, sister of Denise McNair and Sarah Collins Rudolph, survivor of the church bombing and sister of Addie Mae Collins,” said Cook.
Immediately after the show, Congresswoman Sewell hosted a panel called “From Acting to Activism.” The panel was moderated by CNN commentator Angela Rye and included discussions on race and gender in America, being a person of color in modern times, voter suppression, economic disparity, and more.