Filmmaker Spike Lee, who directed the 1997 documentary “4 Little Girls,” attended the memorial service Thursday for the four little girls who died in a bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church.

After the service, while helping lay a memorial wreath, Lee encountered Isabella Jolly, 12, a member of 16th Street Baptist Church. He had some advice for her.

“Think about this question very carefully,” Lee said. “Where you going to college?”

People in the crowd started to offer suggestions. “No hints!” Lee said.

Then Lee started giving hints.

“It’s in Atlanta, Georgia,” Lee said. “It’s right next to Morehouse, it’s where my mother and grandmother went, so where you going to college?”

Finally, he whispered the suggestion of a historically Black women’s liberal arts college into her ear.

She meekly answered, “Spelman?”

“Spelman!” Lee shouted, and clapped.

Jolly is slightly older than one of the four little girls at their times of their deaths 60 years ago in 1963: Denise McNair was 11. The other girls killed in the bombing were slightly older: Addie Mae Collins, 14, Cynthia Wesley, 14, and Carole Robertson, 14.

Spike Lee offers college advice

Spike Lee offered Isabella Jolly, 12, a member of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, advice on where to go to college. (Photo by Greg Garrison/

See also: ‘I felt in my spirit I had to come,’ U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson says at 16th Street Baptist Church