Dear AME Church:
Many men wish death upon you. And for you, that’s not just something skinny jeaned-clad hipsters say to sound cool, or the hook of some 50 Cent song. It’s real business.
With nine of your sons and daughters slaughtered like rabid cattle in South Carolina, your churches intentionally burned to the ground, and death threats for the women you have nurtured for the ministry, all in the span of a few weeks, you can’t help but believe that many men wish death upon you.
But, being in the spotlight and being the target of hate is nothing new for you. In fact, you were born because the enemy did not allow brothers and sisters to pray and worship in a church like other Christians.
You were the loudest voice in anti-lynching, anti-slavery, abolitionist movements.
You were on the front lines of the civil rights movement. You sat-in, you sat down, you stood up, you marched and you fought for equality and justice, even when they called for your death.
You spoke truth to power when they spat on you, educated our young when they sought to miseducate them, and you rode for freedom, when there were pickup trucks with confederate flags, gun racks and hooded cowards lurking in the dusk waiting to take your life away from you.
You were even at the birth of hip hop. Yes, I saw you there too.
But, you are still here. And it is because you are still here, that many men wish death upon you. For you represent an inconvenient truth. You represent a truth that African history is Black American history. And Black American history is American history.
You represent a truth that looks something like educated and brave and beautiful black men and women who pay taxes, build America, get married and raise successful Black children, shatter every Negro stereotype this country has for us, and worship a Black Jesus.
But, it is not only because of this rich past and present, that you are under attack right now. Rather, it is also because of your future and the potential to heal an entire people, that you are a target.
You know better than most, that the enemy does not attack the weak, or those who pose little or no threat to them.
No, many, many men wish death upon you because you are doing what is right and Godly. Because you are strong and mighty. You are providing a path to God and clear direction for the future for young people of color. You are the last working swing in the park.
So, understand that these recent attacks on you have occurred because you are on the right track and because you are leading the way for us.
Please do keep going. The people need you. And God loves you.