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by  |  04-Dec-2016 13:26

Not accidentally, the AME Chuch’s assertion of black freedom of assembly and worship coincided with the origins of black freedom of the press.Even before the official founding of the church, as early as 1794, members of the nascent congregation, including Jones and Allen, worked to help Philadelphians during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793.

However, the white press took the opportunity to disparage African-Americans and the AME Church.

Matthew Carey, a well-known printer, claimed in a circulated pamphlet that African-Americans took advantage of the outbreak by burglarizing the homes of white people who had left the stricken city.

When I heard of the tragic shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, I was saddened but not surprised.

The massacre is only the latest in a long history of racist violence against a church that stands for the empowerment of black worshippers.

The black church has a complicated history in America.

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