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Grant number like: FZ-261349-18

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Kevin Sack
Unaffiliated independent scholar

Public Scholars
Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019

Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina: 200 Years of African-American Life

Writing a history of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

I'm writing a book for Crown Publishing about the remarkable story of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., site of one of the nation's most horrific hate crimes. On a Wednesday night in June 2015, a 21-year-old white supremacist, Dylann Roof, murdered nine Bible study worshipers in the church fellowship hall with the delusion of inciting a race war. He had picked his target, the oldest A.M.E. church in the South, for maximum impact. Through extensive interviews and archival research, I plan to trace the church's history from its founding around 1818 in a bold breakaway from white churches to its central place in the second term of the first black president. The book's conceit is to examine two centuries of African-American life as an ongoing narrative that unfolds within a single congregation. Its ambition is to be an enduring case study, both scholarly and accessible, of the black church's role in resisting oppression at every stage of the freedom struggle.