Loretta Lynch, the nation’s first black female attorney general, bids farewell to her post in a speech at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
“When I was born, it would have been unimaginable to think that an African-American woman could even sit on a jury, much less serve as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.,” Lynch, 57, said in her final address as attorney general from the sanctuary of the church.
In 1963, four reputed Klansmen bombed the church, killing four black girls — the act would later spur passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The church was targeted because Martin Luther King Jr. and others had used the 16th Street Baptist as an organizing hub during the civil rights movement.
“But because of what happened here in Birmingham, I stand before you today as attorney general of the United States, serving in the cabinet of the first African-American president of the United States,” Lynch said on Sunday, just ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.