For the Grieving: Letters to Charleston

This is from my friend Kelly’s blog – a series of brief messages from various authors (myself included) to the hurt and grieving in Charleston, SC, after the now-infamous terrorist attack on a group of black churchgoers in their city. I urge you to read these words of deep compassion, faith and comfort (I took some comfort in them, anyway). I am inspired by the solidarity we can show each other. I am deeply grateful to Kelly Hayes for putting this together; it was healing to organize my thoughts for this, and also to read what others had to say. Bless!

Transformative Spaces

Mourners gathered beside the Chicago River last week to grieve for those killed during an attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo: Bob Simpson) Mourners gathered beside the Chicago River last week to grieve for those killed during an attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo: Bob Simpson)

Last week, amid our discussions of how we could express love and support for those grieving in Charleston, I offered to create some space, here on this page, for friends of mine, here in Chicago, who wanted to share words of love for the fallen, and for those mourning their loss. The responses I received came from some of the most loving people I know. Radical Black organizers and educators, fighting for the liberation of their people, supportive allies, who offer up their skills in support of the marginalized, and a dear friend, who tirelessly provides childcare for those who are balancing movement building with the needs of their own children. The following are their words.

Dear angels of Charleston,

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