As a child in two viciously segregationist southern towns—Albany, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama—I saw how easy it was to humiliate and injure other human beings. As a historian, I know that the United States is not an innocent bystander to Latin America’s outpouring of its people. As an ordained Baptist minister, I feel called to advocate for justice by exposing humiliating, death-dealing systems in order to change them. The Second Cooler is intensely important to me. We in Alabama still invoke the memory of the four little girls who died in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Little girls are dying again. Milka Lopez-Herrera was 1 year old when her body was recovered from Arizona’s Sonora Desert. Lorna Celeste Robles Enriquez was 5. Olivia Elizabeth Luna Noguera was 11. Lourdes Cruz Morales was 12. I want the deaths to stop. And I want Alabama to honor Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley by taking the lead.
Ellin Jimmerson, Director