Marquise Brown | Staff Writer
In the month of June there were reportedly five black churches arsons in six days. A fire torched a church on June 21 in Knoxville, Tennessee and on June 23 a fire was started a church in Macon, Georgia.
More fires were seen in Charlotte North Carolina on June 24. The last reported arsons were June 26 in Tallahassee, Florida and Warrenville, South Carolina.
Emma Green, a staff writer for The Atlantic said, “Arson at religious institutions has decreased significantly over the past two decades but the symbolism remains haunting.”
There has been a sudden string of Church heartbreak since the Charleston, South Carolina church massacre on June 17 that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Nine people lost their lives, including senior pastor and state senator Clementa C. Pinckney. Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal is one of the oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights.
Early tuesday morning on June 23, God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia was on fire according to a witness. Lindsey Bever, a staff writer for The Washington Post reported that “when the firefighters arrived, the front doors were wired shut and they had to enter through a side door.”
According to The Washington Post, black churches reveal a symbol of hope in the darkness of American racism and a source of leadership, (political and religious) in the African American community.
The churches facilitated an explosion of black literacy in the south from 5 percent in 1870 to about 70 percent by 1900, and fostered a wide array of black cultural and political leaders.