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Essential Pittsburgh: How Churches May Change Following Charleston

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Nation contributor and fellow at the Nation Institute Dani McClain recently penned a piece in response to Dylan Roof's attack on church-goers in South Carolina, claiming that Roof exploited "a survival tactic as old as the black American experience: a refusal to let one’s heart harden or one’s joy fade in the face of the irrational, deadly actions that white supremacy can generate."  

McClain draws attention to the fact that black communities are already coping with many recent events that have resulted in black deaths, and that the  Emmanual A.M.E. Church was a politically active and aware congregation:

"Despite both the larger national context of this period of violence, and despite whatever personal plights these individuals may have faced, they still welcomed this young man into their community...What felt important to communicate was this idea of the porousness and openness that we see not just in black churches, but I think in black communities in general." -Dani McClain

Also today, Sheldon Williams and Reverend Waltrina Middleton discuss whether or not churches will be able to maintain their accessibility in the wake of last week's shooting deaths.

The Impact of the Charleston Massacre on Local Churches (starts at 24:35)

Former Pittsburgh Police SWAT officer Sheldon Williams is currently the associate administrative pastor at Allegheny Center Alliance Church. He joins us to discuss whether churches like his can remain as accessible as they traditionally have been in the wake of last week's shooting deaths of nine African-American men and women at the historic Emmanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston. Williams will also discuss the extent to which the confederate flag is promulgating hate and extremism directed at African-Americans.  Also taking part in the conversation is Rev. Waltrina Middleton cousin of Rev. DePayne Middleton, one of the victims of the Charleston shootings.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here

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