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Los Angeles Review of Books


The men and women massacred while studying the Bible the other night in the Emanuel A. M. E. Church were, in their own way, raising hell.

That phrase might seem ill conceived or even disrespectful but it can be invoked here to honor their courage and the A. M. E Church’s long tradition of challenging white supremacy. Their private prayer this week was political simply because their mere existence challenged racial power. There is a long contextual history of race violence in America which gives us tools to see this event clearly but even more than that, there is a history that is deeply specific to both place and to that phrase.


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