We Are Charleston (Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel)

Title: We Are Charleston (Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel) – Church History/Biographies& Memoirs/ Christian Ministry&Church Leadership

Authors: Herb Frazier/Dr. Bernard Edward Powers Jr./Marjory Wentworth

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian Publishing (June 14, 2016)

Number of Pages: 238 pages

ISBN-10:0718077318 (Hardcover)

ISBN-13:978-0718077310 (Hardcover)

ASIN: B019HPC98O (Ebook)

About The Authors:     

Herb Frazier is the public relations and marketing manager for Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Charleston, S.C. He grew up in the Ansonborough public housing projects in Charleston and at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has edited and reported for five daily newspapers in the South, including his hometown paper, The Post and Courier. In 1990, the South Carolina Press Association named him Journalist of the Year. Frazier studied journalism at the University of South Carolina and taught news writing as a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa. He is a former Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Marjory Wentworth is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet who has worked extensively in human rights for organizations such as the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland; The Whole World Institute of Boston; and Church World Service in New York. She is the co-author of “Taking a Stand”. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.


Bernard E. Powers Jr. earned the Ph.D. in American history at Northwestern University and is professor of history at the College of Charleston teaching courses in American, African American and African diasporic history. His major work, “Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822-1885,” was designated an Outstanding Academic Book by “Choice Magazine.”He has published several book chapters and journal articles in his area of expertise and is currently researching the rise of black Methodism in South Carolina. Dr. Powers has appeared in African American oriented documentary films, including most recently the PBS production, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. He has also served as a board member or consultant to private organizations and public agencies promoting historic preservation. Presently Dr. Powers is on the board of the International African American Museum (IAAM) being built in Charleston, South Carolina and chairs its Program Sub-Committee. International African American Musuem is a unique museum and memorial site that will mark the most significant point in the Atlantic slave trade to North America.


About This Book:      


On June 17, 2015, at 9:05 p.m., a young man with a handgun opened fire on a prayer meeting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine members of the congregation. The captured shooter, twenty-one-year-old Dylan Roof, a white supremacist, was charged with their murders. Two days after the shooting, while Roof’s court hearing was held on video conference, some of the families of his nine victims, one by one, appeared on the screen—forgiving the killer. The “Emanuel Nine” set a profound example for their families, their city, their nation, and indeed the world. Finding Grace not only recounts the events of that terrible day but also offers a history lesson that reveals a deeper look at the suffering, triumph, and even the ongoing rage of the people who formed Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church and the wider denominational movement.In many ways, this church’s story is America’s story—the oldest A.M.E. church in the Deep South fighting for freedom and civil rights but also fighting for grace and understanding. Fighting to transcend bigotry, fraud, hatred, racism, poverty, and misery. The shootings in June 2015, opened up a deep wound of racism that still permeates Southern institutions and remains part of American society. Finding Grace tells the story of a people, continually beaten down, who seem to continually triumph over the worst of adversity. Exploring the storied history of the A.M.E. Church may be a way of explaining the price and power of forgiveness, a way of revealing God’s mercy in the midst of tremendous pain. Finding Grace may help us discover what can be right in a world that so often has gone wrong.

We Are Charleston (Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel) Book Review:  

“We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel” given facts about the side of the story that the readers been waiting for. It is cherish, as only for those in the Community can share their story. No outsiders take in the sights in. All three authors piece together Charleston history, A.M.E(African Methodist Episcopal Church) history and biographies of the murdered together with recent and present politics to prove how little of substance has changed here in the year since the massacre.The narrative timeline of what transpire on and by reason of June 17, 2015 jog one’s memory about how small this city really is. Some of us may know people who know the victims. We as a community who we love are still aching with sadness. We’re reinstated to that night at Marion Square where individuals from diversified communities brought together, where the dilemma was spread by friends and relatives on Calhoun Street. Stunned perplexity! I found this discussion evidently lays out the history of Mother Emanuel AME Church and at present time community. The memorable losses are outlay too. I am just wondering if the families of Denmark Vesey and his friends grieve like what happened on June 17, 2015? What extent of determination did it take for the congregation to rebuild from the destruction of their church in 1822? How many generations passed before the grief de-escalate?

On that dreadful day, Dylan Roof enter into Mother Emanuel AME Church during their Bible Study and the members welcomed him with open hearts. In my opinion that was a beautiful picture of Christian love and analogy for these great believers. They welcomed this stranger regardless the color of his skin into their midst without questions, and now people are left grasping on to that light. Dylan Roof was a by- product of a hatred ideology that seeped out of institutional cycles into the predominant experience and communications with deadly outcome. In President Obama’s Eulogy refresh our memory that Roof’s evil actions meant to develop a race war, instead it directed in the opposite directions. That was from the power of forgiveness in which was design as meaningful than anyone could have imagined. I agreed with President Obama that it defined as “the power of God’s grace.” When those families if the victims, survivors and the congregations of Mother Emanuel allows themselves to forgive, they refused to let hatred win. The whole Community was united in grief and working working toward changes in Charleston. I recommend everyone to buy and read this book for yourself so you can get to know Charleston, the history of the AME Church and the power of forgiveness better. I am learning to be able to start to learn more about the power of forgiveness. This quote of Power of Forgiveness really sum up what the good folks of Mother Bethel allow themselves to do. “When You Choose To Forgive Those Who Have Hurt You, Take Away Their Power.” Lets continue to pray for the Families of the 9 Victims that were taken away from us violently. Also continue to pray for the Mother Emanuel AME Church Family as they move forward in building of God’s Kingdom.  I want to personally thanks Herb Frazier, Dr.Bernard Edward Powers Jr., and Marjory Wentworth for allowing God direct them to work together in writing about the history moments in Charleston, the birth of the Mother Emanuel AME Church and the the role they play in building up the community.


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