Unwavering Commitment

Emanuel AME Church  Google Street ViewThe historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, South Carolina, is no stranger to the barbarity of racism. It was born of insult when its Black members left the main denomination after white parishioners built a hearse house on a Black cemetery. It was burned to the ground by white supremacists and outlawed all together in the antebellum South, when members had to meet in secret for fear of their lives. And on Wednesday, June 17th, it suffered another blow at the hands of a young terrorist who, after marinating in the cauldron of racism that this nation has callously kept aflame, murdered nine people there in cold blood.

Charleston Vigil Source NY Times

But this building also nurtured the seeds of emancipation. It nursed the defiance of the Civil Rights movement. It sheltered the weary, the dispossessed and those rendered invisible by white society. And each time it was mercilessly marginalized or reduced to rubble it rose from the ashes brighter and bolder. This was not due to its foundation, structure or components, but because of the resilience and resolve of its beleaguered people.

Historic AME Church  Source Emanuel AME Church Charleston

Racism continues to blanket this nation like a shroud that refuses to give up its dead. It has morphed into the justice and prison system, it lurks in dormitories and posh clubhouses, and it furnishes young white minds with just enough hatred to commit acts of unconscionable evil. With all of this in mind, we remember the victims of Wednesday’s massacre, and their families today. And in their memory, we renew our unwavering commitment to defeat racism and social hatred wherever it rears its hideous head.

Kenn Orphan  2015


Cynthia Hurd, 54
Susie Jackson, 87
Ethel Lance, 70
Clementa Pinckney, 41
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
Tywanza Sanders, 26
DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49
Myra Thompson, 59
Daniel Simmons, 74

Victims of the Massacre at AME Church in Charleston  Source Getty


3 thoughts on “Unwavering Commitment

  1. Beautiful remembrance Ken. I share your sadness at our failure to learn to love everyone, especially those seeming to be different from ourselves. May we all work to bury this dark legacy of racial hatred, and replace it with unconditional love.

    Liked by 2 people

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