A Flower for the Graves, 50 Years On

It has been fifty years since Gene Patterson published A Flower for the Graves.

If you’ve never read it, take the time to. It’s a stunning piece, his call to action after the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four children.

Only we can trace the truth, Southerner — you and I. We broke those children’s bodies.

We watched the stage set without staying it. We listened to the prologue unbestirred. We saw the curtain opening with disinterest. We have heard the play.

It is a call to action, a call that must go beyond us journalists and into our communities. But it was then, and is now, our obligation to lead.

Mark E. Johnson

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