The massacre of 9 people in a Charleston church has shocked a nation and particularly Black Americans who have been reeling from a variety of racially motivated incidents already.
South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn was one of the people stunned by the deadly shooting of nine people in a South Carolina church, founded by Denmark Vesey. Vesey was the leader of a slave revolt in Charleston in June of 1822. The original church was burnt down and African-American worship was banned, but Vesey’s son eventually rebuilt it. It is now the Emanuel AME Church, said to be one of the oldest Black churches in the South.
“As many may know this is one of the most historic churches in the country,” Clyburn says. “I was in that church right after Walter Scott shooting. In this part of Charleston, you get a lot of traffic going through. The College of Charleston campus is about two Blocks away. The Medical College of South Carolina is a few blocks away. This is the heart of our district. I hope this man hunt has gone beyond Charleston. It’s right at the Cooper River bridge and anyone can get on the bridge and be out of Charleston in five minutes.”
The FBI and local police forces are searching for the killer. Clyburn has connected with the Bishop’s Council of the AME Church. A call will take place today that will include the bishops as well as Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
The church is in Clyburn’s district. He is on his way back to South Carolina for a service at Morris Brown AME Church, his home church, for a special service at 12 noon.
Reports have stated that the man who shot 9 people including State Senator Clementa Pinckney, a married father of 2, also the church’s pastor, was in the church for about an hour during a Bible study.
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