CONDOLEEZZA RICE TELLS KATIE COURIC ABOUT GROWING
UP BLACK IN ALABAMA AND HOW RACIAL BIGOTRY
CAUSED HER FIRST BRUSH WITH TERRORISM --
"60 MINUTES" SUNDAY ON CBS
Broadcast Offers Profile that Gets Inside the Mind and the Home of the Secretary of State
One of America's foremost leaders in the war on terror had her first brush with terrorism while still a young girl living in Birmingham, Ala. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells Katie Couric about losing a friend when bigots bombed a black Baptist church near her house in an intimate profile to be broadcast on the 39th season premiere of 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Sept. 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"Denise McNair was my little friend from kindergarten," says Rice of one of the four young girls who died when the 16th Street Baptist church was bombed in September 1963. "These were innocent children, this was homegrown terrorism. I know a little bit of what it's like to have somebody try to terrorize a community," she tells Couric.
There were other bombs during the civil rights movement, acts of racism her parents could not shield her from as they did other facts of the Jim Crow South. "My parents were determined to try to shield me from some of those humiliations. So I can remember very well that if it meant drinking at a black water fountain, it was just, 'We'll just wait until we get home.' They simply were not going to let me face that," remembers Rice.
Parents in her tight-knit community were also not going to let the segregation, the treatment of demonstrators -- the overall stigma of being black in the South -- affect the self esteem of their children, says Rice. "I can't tell you how hard parents worked to make sure that you understood that racism, and Jim Crow and all of that was not about you, it was about them," she tells Couric. "It was their problem�and don't ever think of yourself as a victim�.You have control of your life no matter what they try to do to you."
The heights she reached in academia, in music -- she is an accomplished pianist -- and government she attributes to a drive forged in overcoming the Jim Crow milieu under the guidance of her parents, but to other members of the community as well. "And it was also a support structure, teachers, community, growing up in Birmingham where they really had all of us convinced�that we might not be able to go to Woolworth's for a hamburger, but we could be president of the United States if we wanted to be," Rice tells Couric.
Couric's profile of Rice includes rare access to the secretary of state's Washington apartment where she demonstrates her piano prowess and shows Couric family pictures.