Authors - Bernard E. Powers Jr. Ph.D., Herb Frazier & Marjory Wentworth
BERNARD E. POWERS JR. earned the Ph.D. in American history at Northwestern University and is professor of history at the College of Charleston teaching courses in American, African American and African diasporic history. His major work, Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822-1885, was designated an “Outstanding Academic Book” by Choice Magazine. He has published several book chapters and journal articles in his area of expertise. Dr. Powers is currently researching the rise of black Methodism in South Carolina and resides in Charleston. He has served as a board member or consultant to private organizations and public agencies promoting historic preservation. Presently Dr. Powers is on the board of the International African American Museum (IAAM) being built in Charleston, South Carolina and chairs its Program Sub-Committee. IAAM is a unique museum and memorial site that will mark the most significant point in the Atlantic slave trade to North America.
HERB FRAZIER is the public relations and marketing manager for Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Charleston, S.C. He grew up in the Ansonborough public housing projects in Charleston and at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has edited and reported for five daily newspapers in the South, including his hometown paper, The Post and Courier. In 1990, the South Carolina Press Association named him Journalist of the Year. Frazier studied journalism at the University of South Carolina and taught news writing as a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa. He is a former Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.
MARJORY WENTWORTH is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet who has worked extensively in human rights for organizations such as the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland; The Whole World Institute of Boston; and Church World Service in New York. She is the co-author of "Taking a Stand". She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Recently Released - We Are Charleston
On June 17, 2015, at 9:05 p.m., a young man with a handgun opened fire on a prayer meeting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine members of the congregation. The captured shooter, twenty-one-year-old Dylan Roof, a white supremacist, was charged with their murders. Two days after the shooting, while Roof’s court hearing was held on video conference, some of the families of his nine victims, one by one, appeared on the screen—forgiving the killer. The “Emanuel Nine” set a profound example for their families, their city, their nation, and indeed the world.
Finding Grace not only recounts the events of that terrible day but also offers a history lesson that reveals a deeper look at the suffering, triumph, and even the ongoing rage of the people who formed Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church and the wider denominational movement.
In many ways, this church’s story is America’s story—the oldest A.M.E. church in the Deep South fighting for freedom and civil rights but also fighting for grace and understanding. Fighting to transcend bigotry, fraud, hatred, racism, poverty, and misery. The shootings in June 2015, opened up a deep wound of racism that still permeates Southern institutions and remains part of American society.
Finding Grace tells the story of a people, continually beaten down, who seem to continually triumph over the worst of adversity. Exploring the storied history of the A.M.E. Church may be a way of explaining the price and power of forgiveness, a way of revealing God’s mercy in the midst of tremendous pain. Finding Grace may help us discover what can be right in a world that so often has gone wrong.