Published on November 3rd, 2021 | by Meta Washington0
Survivors Charleston Church Massacre Awarded $88 Million
On Thursday, October 28th, nine families representing the survivors of the horrific 2015 church massacre in Charleston, SC were collectively awarded $88 million in a lawsuit against the Department of Justice. According to the Justice Department, settlements for the families of those killed range from $6 million to $7.5 million per claimant. The mass shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church was deemed a hate crime that resulted in immeasurable suffering for the families of the victims and the survivors according to Attorney General Merrick. The shooter, white supremacist, Dylann Roof who was 21 at the time of the incident entered the church and opened fire during bible study. Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. In the months prior to the June 17, 2015 church shooting, Roof was arrested by police in Columbia, SC for drug possession, but due to a series of clerical errors within the sheriff’s office, he was wrongly permitted to purchase a firearm. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a former state senator and pastor of the Mother Emanuel AME Church was among those slain. The award will hopefully serve as a significant step toward closure for the nine families involved.
Rev. Jesse Jackson Suffers Fall
Rev. Jesse Jackson, 80-year-old civil rights leader and founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition was released from the Howard University Hospital on Tuesday, November 2nd after falling and sustaining an injury after visiting the Howard University campus in Washington, DC. Rev. Jackson had met with university administrators and students who were protesting housing conditions, tuition costs and lack of representation. Jackson fell and hit his head while entering the Blackburn University Center. Jackson, who spent the night at the hospital for observation, underwent a series of tests, including a CT scan which came back “normal.” After leaving the hospital, Jackson returned to the University to resume his efforts in helping resolve the issues surrounding the student-led protests now entering its fourth week. Jackson who recovered from COVID-19 virus in August along with his wife, also battles Parkinson’s disease which affects his ability to walk and talk. Upon his release, Jackson tweeted his appreciation for those who prayed on his behalf and reminded them to “Keep Hope Alive.”
“How They Got Over” Documentary Released
Director Robert Clem’s “How They Got Over,” is a historical documentary about the influence of gospel quartets from the 1920s to 1940s and their role in shaping rock ‘n’ roll. The Dixie Hummingbirds was also highlighted among those who were mentioned in the documentary’s account of how the genre of faith shifted from spiritual to secular and created a new sound. The documentary includes a wealth of archival performance footage of artists including a collaboration between the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi and the Barrett Sisters. Dennis Edwardsof The Temptations, Clarence Fountain of the Blind Boys of Alabama, the late Isaac Freeman of The Fairfield Four and JoJo Wallace the lone remaining member of the Sensational Nightingales are among the interviewees featured in the documentary. “How They Got Over” is currently being shown in theaters and on virtual cinemas.
Soul Train Music Awards Announces Gospel Nominees
he nominees for the 2021 Soul Train Music Awards were recently announced including a list of those named for this year’s Best Gospel/Inspirational Award. The nominees for this category include Kelly Price, James Fortune, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Kirk Franklin, Brian Courtney Wilson, and Maverick City Music. This year’s award show will take place on Saturday, November 20th at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC and will premiere on Sunday November 28th on BETand BET HER TVat 8pm ET/PT. Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold will be returning as the show’s co-hosts for the fourth consecutive year. The show marks the first taping at the Apollo Theater and first time in New York. In previous years, the show had been held in Los Angeles. This year will also recognize the 50th anniversary of Soul Train which made its debut October 1971.
Fire Damages Historic Missouri Church Slated for Gospel Hall of Fame
A vacant church located near the Central West End area in Missouri caught fire on October 27th. The Church was slated to be converted into the future site for the Gospel Hall of Fame of Missouri. The plan is to turn the church into the hall of fame, with a cafe and event space, where people can explore and learn about Missouri’s rich history of gospel music. “This building, in particular, has housed some of the greatest gospel singers and legends,” said Yolanda Yancie, a St. Louis City committee woman and board member for Gospel Music Hall of Fame of Missouri. The fire is a major setback for the project that had already estimated at $22 million. Smoke billowing from the bell tower, required the firefighters to contain the fire aerially sending a lot of water into the church. There is still no specific cause for the fire according to local firefighters. Fortunately, the outer shell of the church building remains largely undamaged. From the outside, a passersby would not be able to tell there had been a fire on the premises except for the charred bell tower. No estimate has yet been determined as to much damage occurred or how much it will ultimately cost to continue the project, but there is already a fundraising effort in place posted on the website of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame of Missouri.