Late on Wednesday evening a white gunman fatally shot nine black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina before fleeing the scene and evading local police.
Anti-black violence in places of worship is nothing new. The most infamous of these attacks was the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four little girls died in that attack, making Wednesday’s attack more than twice as deadly.
The nine victims of last night's attacks include Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a mother of three, reverend, and high school track coach; Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the church's pastor, father of two, and a state senator in South Carolina; Cynthia Hurd, who worked in the county's libraries for 31 years; Tywanza Sanders, a 26-year-old recent graduate of Allen University; Myra Thompson, the wife of reverend Anthony Thomspon, who is a vicar at Holy Trinity REC; Ethel Lee Lance, a 70-year-old sexton who had worked in the church for more than 30 years; Rev. Daniel L. Simmons, a ministerial staff member at the church; Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, a mother of four, minister, and active member of the choir; and Susie Jackson, 87, who served in the choir and the church’s usher board.
Click here to learn more about the victims of this attack.
As we struggle with the reality of this hatred and violence—our request is simple. We ask that you continue to uplift the lives of the black community in your prayers.
We ALL are responsible in stopping this lineage of violence.