It did not seem real

Debbie Schreiber Crumpton

Debbie Schreiber Crumpton

Age 10 in 1963

Debbie, only 10 in 1963, now says, “I am grateful for the life experiences as they have taught me much.”

I turned 10 in 1963. I had no idea about what was going on in Birmingham at that time until the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. That Sunday it became real to me. I was in my Sunday School class at First Methodist downtown in a borrowed room at Alabama Power due to construction and renovation of our regular meeting place. There was an explosive sound and then adults running in to save us and escort us back to the main church building. I was scared. At that time the biggest thing we were worried about as children was an attack from Russia. This cowardly act came from our own citizens in our own city! It did not seem real at the time and still doesn’t. Over the last 50 years I have hopefully become more aware and compassionate toward others different from me but still all the same. I feel privileged to have lived through this and to maybe make a small difference in the world around me.


In February 2014, Debbie Schreiber Crumpton wrote this story for Kids in Birmingham 1963.