The circa-1891 edifice of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston; with its congregation founded in 1816, it is the oldest AME church in the South and
often referred to as “Mother Emanuel.” Photograph by Amy Luke
Photograph by Melinda Smith Monk
Graphic artist Gil Shuler’s iconic image (sans indigo background) captures both the fleetingness of life and the sturdiness of community.
More Than Victims: They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, teachers, preachers, poets. A beloved librarian, a persnickety church custodian, an inspiring coach. As artist Sarah Green illustrates, the nine are not a number, but individuals once full of life and love.
Bridge to Peace: What began as an impromptu Facebook event, hoping to draw maybe 1,000 people, turned into a bridge-spanning love fest on the Sunday after the shootings. Photograph by Floyd Smalls Jr.
An estimated 15,000 people joined hands in a “Bridge to Peace” unity chain across the Ravenel. Though uplifting and symbolic, it was “an immediate emotional response, not real change,” says Rev. Dr. Kylon Middleton. Photograph by Floyd Smalls Jr.
Last fall, Citadel cadets painted the message calling for community strength and solidarity, alongside Shuler’s palmetto, on the old baseball stadium wall. The public was invited to paint the doves, the first of which were stenciled by then-Mayor Joe Riley and State Senator Marlon Kimpson in a special ceremony. Photograph by Amy Luke
Like Family: Rev. Dr. Kylon Middleton was like a brother to Clementa Pinckney. The two grew up going to AME youth leadership events, both graduated from the same divinity school, and both were ordained in the AME church. Shortly after Pinckney’s death, Middleton was called to pastor Mount Zion AME Church on Glebe Street, the daughter church to Mother Emanuel, where he now works to further the social justice issues so important to his friend, brother, and colleague. Photograph by Gately Williams
Ken Burns (center) and Henry Louis Gates Jr. at the Gaillard Center for “American Fault Line,” a conversation moderated by Carolina Youth Development director Barbara Kelly Duncan (left) Photograph by Stephanie Hunt
Avery All-Stars: It was standing room only at the Sottile Theater for the first two programs of the Race and Social Justice Initiative, presented by the Avery Research Center.
Avery executive director Dr. Patricia Williams Lessane welcomes legal activist Bryan Stevenson to the podium.
Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman inaugurated the series.
Color Bind: With the intention of “getting proximate” through participatory arts initiatives, Enough Pie is jazzing up the peninsula’s palette in vivid yarn—with knitting circles and “Love Bombs”—and paint, via a radiant mural memorializing Cynthia Graham Hurd at the John L. Dart Branch on King Street.
Kim Odom (pictured above right, beside Enough Pie director Cathryn Zommer) is the Dart branch manager and was a close friend of Hurd’s. Photograph by Michael Powell
With a mini-grant from the Lowcountry Unity Fund, Samantha Sammis expanded programs at Laundry Matters, a community hub where neighborhood students gather to learn computer coding skills on Wednesdays, as a collaboration between her nonprofit, Loving America Street, and Women in Tech. Photograph by Michael Powell
Laundry Matters is the only laundromat on Charleston’s East Side. Photograph by Michael Powell
Neighborhood kids learn computer coding skills on Wednesdays.
Neighbors involved with Loving America Street on the peninsula’s East Side
Leading by Example: Darrin Goss Sr., the new CEO of Coastal Community Foundation believes that healing in our broader community begins in part by looking inward, at diversity and equity in our own workplaces and organizations. Photograph by Gately Williams
We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel (W Publishing Group, June 2016)
Taking Aim: The Emanuel shootings helped coalesce citizens disturbed by the epidemic of gun violence, and the nonprofit advocacy group Gun Sense SC resulted.
Gun Sense SC addresses the issue primarily as a public health concern and has held press conferences and forums, including Stand-Up Sunday in 1,300 churches across the state.
At a recent rally held at Mother Emanuel, Tamika Myers advocated for closing the gun-check loophole. Her daughter, Sierra, was shot to death three years ago in a St. George-area nightclub. Photograph by Michael Powell
Rev. Dr. Betty Deas Clark continues to help the congregation of Emanuel AME Church heal. “We are more than the tragedy,” she says. “As followers of Jesus Christ, we are people of hope.” Photograph by Gately Williams
Last September, City Council passed a resolution to create the Mother Emanuel Way Memorial District, a section of Calhoun in front of the church between Meeting and Concord streets. Photograph by Michael Powell
Arianne King Comer’s Mother Emanuel batik for “The Holy City” art show
The Cynthia Graham Hurd mural at John L. Dart Library
At the makeshift shrine in front of Mother Emanuel, a message of gratitude replaces the piles of flowers, notes, and tributes that were a constant presence for much of the year. Photograph by Michael Powell