September 15, 2020

I’m Still Saying Her Name

By Freeman A. Hrabowski III

What stands out in my memory of Cynthia Wesley on that afternoon 57 years ago is the moment our eyes met.

It was a fleeting exchange, and yet in that instant I sensed my friend’s kindness and optimism. She was 14, I was 13, and on that warm Friday in mid-September it was possible to set aside thoughts of the cruelty and racial violence roiling our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. We were just two kids, excited at the start of a late-summer weekend.