History Repeating? Attack on Black Church

In September 1963 JET covered the horrific Birmingham massacre that claimed the lives of four church girls.

The blast left 19 injured, six lost lives – two being the young fellows following the blaze aftermath, and a lifetime of pain.


More than a decade later, a grand jury took further interest in the series of unsolved church bombings that took place in the early 1960s , which also included the 16th Street Baptist Church. JET tackled the painful memories of that Sunday morning in Alabama in the September 1, 1977 issue.

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Painful memories are flooding back into the forefront with the terrorist attack that took place in Charleston, N.C. on Wednesday night at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The name Dylan Storm Roff will now be another stain on history. At 21, the alleged shooter adds his name to a long list of assassins who have attacked the Black church. This shooting spree took the lives of nine people, including Pastor Pickney who leaves behind a wife and children.

The fatal attack on the historical church follows generations of bombings from the civil rights era on through the 90s, when a string arson attacks hit black churches throughout South Carolina. In more recent times, in 2008, following President Obama’s inauguration, a black church bombing in Massachusetts made headlines. The attack was confirmed as racially motivated and the White culprit was convicted in 2011.