Mother Emanuel pastor shares insights to better race relations

Published 4:20 pm Monday, September 18, 2017

It has been two years since nine people were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston by self-described white supremacist Dylann Roof who hoped to launch an all-out race war. While Roof did not achieve his goal, hate crimes and racial tension have increased at an alarming rate since that summer day in 2015.

Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, senior pastor at Mother Emanuel A.M.E., will visit the University of South Carolina Upstate on Thursday, Sept. 28 where he will deliver the Preface program’s keynote address at 6 p.m. in the G.B. Hodge Center. The public is invited to attend.

In an interview with CNN, Manning said, “We are a body of believers who have gone through a tragedy; the world has watched us. We will continue to have resilience. …We will continue to believe that God is still in the midst.”

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“Rev. Manning plans to share his insights on how the 2015 church massacre prompted resolve among both black and white citizens to improve race relations and mutual understanding,” said Dr. Monika Shehi, associate professor of English and director of English composition at USC Upstate. “His message and experience is a perfect tie-in to this year’s assigned reading and our students will benefit immensely from hearing his story.”

First-year students at USC Upstate are reading “The Fire Next Time” by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, which takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race.

The event is free. You may make reservations by emailing rsvp@ or by calling Laura Puckett-Boler at 864-503-5108.

– submitted by Carolyn Farr-Shanesy