Four little girls, Rep. Sewell, Dr. Alvin Poussaint honored at Miles College graduation last Saturday
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The four young African-American girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in downtown Birmingham -- Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley -- were honored posthumously with honorary degrees from Miles College at the school's spring commencement on Saturday, held at the BJCC downtown.
The noted author, educator and psychiatrist, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, delivered the commencement address.
And Pouissant and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, were given honorary doctoral degrees from Miles at the event.
Some of the family members of the girls were present at the ceremony to accept the degrees, according to a Miles news release on Monday --
--Lisa McNair accepted the posthumous degree on the behalf of her sister, Denise.
--Sarah Collins Rudolf accepted the degree on the behalf of her sister, Addie Mae.
--Gaile Pugh Gratton Greene accepted on behalf of Robertson.
--Ricky Sylvester Powell accepted on behalf of Wesley's adopted sister, Shirley Wesley King.
One of the country's leading authorities on communication with regard to racial and family dynamics, Pouissant is the author or co-author of several books, including "Raising Black Children" and "Lay My Burden Down: Unraveling the Mental Health Crisis among African Americans."
Pouissant co-wrote the book "Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors" with the actor and producer Bill Cosby, who also has a doctorate in education.
He and Cosby have also worked to create positive images of African Americans on such TV programs as "The Cosby Show."
Miles College conferred degrees on more than 180 students at the graduation, according to the news release.
For more information about Miles, call 205-929-1000 or go to www.miles.edu.
To get more news from Birmingham, go to www.al.com/birmingham.