24″ x 30″
When the four little girls died in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, Marna Williams was raising four children of her own. It haunted her that it could have been her children killed in that church. Marna and women from her Presbyterian Church family cooperated with the local Catholic Church and the Greater Birmingham Ministry to form The Mustard Seed Project. They began a pre-school and an after-school program in the black segregated neighborhood near their church. The Men’s Brotherhood sponsored a baseball team and built a field. The girls learned to sew and cook. Tutors from the local high school helped the children with their schoolwork. They held neighborhood dances. The women cooperated with community leaders in seeing that the justice of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was available to all Birmingham citizens. The Mustard Seed’s actions seemed to threaten life as Marna’s family and friends knew it. Marna wondered about who she was and what her choice had to do with the meaning of her life. The Mustard Seed transformed not only the local community but Marna herself.