News of the shooting deaths of nine people in Charleston, S.C., by a gunman believed to be a white supremacist reached the hearts of San Franciscans, prompting numerous gatherings to remember the victims, including a candlelight vigil Thursday night in the Bayview.
More than 50 people congregated in front of the Joseph Lee Gymnasium, in honor of the nine people killed by a gunman during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
An organizer of the vigil in the Bayview, Phelicia Jones, a SEIU 1021 member and chair of the Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community Committee, said she agreed with Rev. Jesse Jackson’s statement that black people are under a terrorist attack in America.
“There is no such thing as a post racial society. Racism is alive and well, yes, in good ole San Francisco too,” Jones wrote in an email. “We need an apology for all of the racist acts that have been bestowed upon black people not only in America but here in San Francisco too.”
Clergy at Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill prayed for those who were killed and their families at its Thursday service and will do so at its services today and Sunday. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of the Episcopal Dioceses of California and whose seat is at Grace Cathedral, said in a statement that the faith community is “shocked and inexpressibly saddened by the tragedy.”
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in Laguna Heights plans to set up a place for prayer on Sunday in remembrance of the nine victims.
Rev. Philip Cousin, a pastor at Bethel AME Church on Laguna Street, said in a statement that the massacre “reminds us that America is firmly entrenched in its misguided notions of nostalgia calling to mind a yesterday the relegated people of color to a subservice status.”
Photos by Michael Ares/Special to the S.F. Examiner.