Angela Davis speaking at an event in Oakland, CA organized by the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project:
And remembering and paying tribute to this tragic event, let us not pretend that we are simultaneously celebrating the end of racist violence, and the triumph of democracy. Let us also not labor under the illusion that this church bombing was an anomaly. We know that Robert Chambliss, who was eventually convicted of carrying out the bombing, along with three others, we know that he had been responsible for bombing black homes and churches over so many years. As a matter of fact, during the eight years prior to the church bombing, there had been 21 bombings in Birmingham. This man’s nickname was “Dynamite Bob”. He was known in white communities, you know, talking about terrorism. And I want to emphasize the importance of understanding how much terrorism, racist terrorism, has shaped the history of this country. And there are lessons we need to learn from that.
As much talk as there has been about terrorism over the last decade, I have not heard one official acknowledgment of the terrorism that prevailed in places like Birmingham. Terrorism is a part of our history.