Statement from African-American Church Leaders on Ferguson Turns Into a Call for Justice

The Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner collected signatures for a statement by leaders of African-American church groups about Ferguson, Mo. Photo by Patricia McDougall Photos
The Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner collected signatures for a statement by leaders of African-American church groups about Ferguson, Mo. Photo by Patricia McDougall Photos

The statement calls on African-American churches to memorialize Michael Brown and to elect politicians who “represent the preservation of life in ethnic communities.”

As the Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner collected signatures for a statement by leaders of African-American church groups about the Ferguson, Mo., police shooting of Michael Brown, she found more people wanted to join in.

The general secretary of the National Council of Churches wanted to add his name; an Asian-American evangelical leader, too.

What started out as a “Joint Statement of Heads of Historic African American Church Denominations” has become an interracial cry for justice.

“It’s touching hearts of people who have sons and who know that their sons would not be treated this way,” said Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African-American Clergy Network, on Thursday (Aug. 21). “They know it’s wrong. They know it’s wrong before God. And they are responding on a human level.”

The statement, also spearheaded by the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. and the Rev. T. DeWitt Smith, veteran civil rights activists, calls on African-American churches to memorialize Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teen who was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. It also urges contributions to a national fund to assist his family with pending legal expenses.

“In light of the long and bloody trail of lynchings, deaths, and killings of African American youth from Emmett Till, to Trayvon Martin, to Michael Brown, and scores of others throughout our nation, we call for action, justice, and the transformation of our society,” the letter reads.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Religion News Service
Adelle M. Banks

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