Emanuel AME

It's pretty safe to say we've all been saturated by images from the terrible events at Emanuel AME nearly one month ago. I've been sitting on these for a while.  I was lucky to be front row for parts of the unraveling, including photographing those visiting the church the day after as well as the NAACP meeting. There was something that stuck out to me about this church: The proximity of it. You can see Emanuel AME's steeple from everywhere. It's also right in the middle of downtown. It's on a traffic-filled, main street one block from Marion Square and across the street from Buist Academy. Something else that saddened me was remembering meeting all of the original bridge crossers from Selma, Alabama. They sacrificed so much to push things forwards. I hope they see the positive outcome and uniting from this rather than us taking steps backwards.  I hope you find more beauty and strength than sadness in these photos. More hope than pain. More mending and healing than growing adversity. And, as children continue to look on, I hope we teach them well.