St. Peter’s AME Church, along with Black churches nationwide, asked its members to wear black to church on Sunday, December 14 to symbolize that Black lives matte
“This action is in response to the failure of a grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri to indict a White police officer in the killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown, the failure of a grand jury in Staten Island New York to indict a White police officer in the death of Eric Garner, and other incidents of police brutality leveled against Black persons nationwide,” said Rev. Nazim B. Fakir, pastor of St. Peter’s AME Church. “We need to draw attention to and change a system that systematically subjects Black persons to these injustices.”
Fakir said during his sermon that police officers have a very difficult job; they are supposed to protect and serve the community, and many officers do that with integrity, putting their lives on the line every day. He went on to condemn acts by some police officers, security guards and vigilantes who seem not to value Black lives. He also made it clear that Black on Black crime is unacceptable as well and that we as a society must stop all attacks on Black lives.
“I applaud the leadership of young people across the nation who have taken up the mantle of a new civil rights movement,” said Rev. Fakir. In cities large and small, young people of all races are demonstrating, protesting and letting their voices be heard.
The 10 am service included a special litany and a prayer asking God’s presence and protection over the lives of Blacks in our communities. The men of the church stood behind the young people, placing their hands on their shoulders, symbolically covering them and protecting them against harm.
Willie Dean, Ph.D. is a photographer for St. Peter AME church.