Tue | May 23, 2017

Black churches targeted

Published:Sunday | June 21, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Photos of the victims of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., are held during a vigil at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington

WASHINGTON (AP):

The black Church has long been the cornerstone and sanctuary for African-American life. It has also long been a target for racists and white supremacists trying to strike blows against the African-American psyche.

The latest attack came last Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina, when 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof joined a prayer meeting inside historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and, according to authorities, shot nine people dead, including the pastor, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, and other ministers.

Why Roof targeted that particular church is not yet known. A friend of the suspect said Roof told him that he felt black people were "taking over the world" and that something needed to be done for the white race.

What is clear is that in the days since the carnage inside one of the nation's oldest black churches, other black churches have begun gathering their faithful to process the tragedy, fortify themselves for the journey towards forgiveness and renew their commitments to the social activism that has made them targets for hate through the ages.