In an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shared her experiences growing up in Birmingham, Ala., during the height of the civil rights movement.
She remembers vividly the day the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed, killing four young girls about her age.
“My dad’s church was only about two miles from 16th Street Baptist Church, and so it was like the ground shook,” she told Rev. Sharpton. “And for kids in Birmingham my age, I was eight, it was-how could these people hate us so much?”
She also said that while she knew she was living in the “most segregated big city in America,” her parents also told her that she could accomplish anything.
“You were always aware that you couldn’t go to a movie theater, couldn’t go to a restaurant,” she said. “I have said sometimes, very often that my parents couldn’t take me to have a hamburger at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, but they had me absolutely convinced that I could be president of the United States if I wanted to be.”
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