A sweeping epidemic of hate crime targeted over one hundred Southern Black Churches between 1995 and 1996, leaving them in charred ruins. St. John Baptist Church in Dixiana, South Carolina, was one of the first destroyed. This small, isolated church had faced dark times before. It had been viciously desecrated in 1985 and withstood more attacks until it was burned down in August 1995.
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My book "Don't Give Up" was written to help other young people who are sad and feel alone. The main character is a girl who experiences these emotions and fought to make a better life for herself. With the help of two best friends she makes it through high school. Katie takes the bull by the horn and goes to community college and works at the same…
From the beginning, two friends – a white woman named Ammie Murray, and a black woman named Barbara Simmons – rallied volunteers to rebuild the historic St. John. Much to their amazement, hundreds of people from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds responded to their call for help. They refused to stop rebuilding the church-despite repeated attempts on Ammie and Barbara's lives and relentless attacks on the church. Soon, these two heroic women joined the leaders and congregations from two other burned, black churches-Macedonia Baptist and Mt. Zion AME-in leading the nation in a courageous battle against hate crime in the deep South.
Beautifully rendered with warmth and grace, this inspiring story of enduring friendship, reconciliation, spiritual strength, and hope shows us how we can triumph over racial hatred.