Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Charleston: A Tale of Reconcilliation

Charleston Church Reopens <source>

On the evening of June 17, 2015, a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States. The church is one of the United States' oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights. Nine people were killed, including the senior pastor and state senator, Clementa C. Pinckney. A tenth person was shot and survived.

Police arrested a white suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, in Shelby, North Carolina the morning after the attack. <link>

The shooter wanted to start a race war, dividing the United States. However the way the community reacted has been the complete opposite:

Firstly the victims, the families of those killed, spoke to the killer:


Then a UK based teacher, asked a friend to document what has been happening in Charleston, with the result being a powerful witness to reconciliation:

Watch the first full sermon from the church where the shooting took place:

The community of Charleston singing, "We Shall Overcome" together:


  1. Hi mate. Have been using this with my year 10 GCSE groups. I would question the title though. It is a tale of forgiveness for certain. But for reconciliation both sides need to come back together and there is no evidence the murderer is contrite. From what we know he is proud of his crimes. Sorry to be pedantic. Neil

  2. Hi Mate. Have been using this with my year 10 GCSE classes. I would question the title though. It certainly is a tale of forgiveness. But for reconciliation, both sides must be bought back together and there is no evidence the killer is contrite or wants forgiveness. Sorry to be pedantic. Neil

    1. How about reconciliation with the truth? Acknowledging bad things have happened, misunderstandings persist... that black people were hugging white people as they had never done in the past? There may not be reconciliation between the killer and the community, but there was reconciliation in the community, past generations of division united? In some respects, it is much bigger than the shootings (if that is in someway possible?).