“My God! We aren’t even safe at church,” Anonymous black woman after the 16th Street Church Bombing; 1963-2015.

The “clean-shaven white man about 21 years old who was wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and Timberland boots” who opened fire yesterday at Emanuel A.M.E. Church on June 17 marks a return to the past violence targetting the church. Charged with plotting a slave revolt, Denmark Vesey, a founding member of Emanuel, was executed with 35 others. In the midst of hundreds of arrests and brutal executions, Emanuel was set ablaze in the 1820s. Black people rebuilt the church in 1834…and nine people died while attending a prayer meeting at Emanuel on June 17 for exercising their right to live freely and to pray.