In June of 2015, tragedy struck in Charleston, South Carolina. Many of us can remember watching the news and hearing about the mass shooting that took place in a church downtown. A white man who wanted to start a race war murdered 9 innocent people, complete strangers, and all of them Black. While for many of us this is just a page in the history books, this is real life for Chris Singleton, whose mother was one of the victims. Chris famously forgave his mother’s killer and proclaimed on national television that “love is stronger than hate.” Ever since that day, he’s been on a mission to spread that message of love. I had the privilege of interviewing him about just that!
Ever since moving to Charleston, I’ve wanted to have Chris on the show. Everyone around here knows about him – the Charleston kid-turned pro baseball player, and now turned public speaker and author! Chris’s life hasn’t gone exactly as he’d planned, but he knows it’s exactly how God orchestrated it. He is a preacher on a mission to share about loving your neighbor, especially your neighbors of different skin colors. The concept of racial reconciliation has perhaps never been needed more than it is right now. The killing of so many innocent, unarmed people of color is hardly new, however it seems to be something that many people are finally waking up to.
I didn’t have too many questions planned out when I sat down to talk with Chris – I just wanted to let him share his story and do his inspirational speaking thing! We had a real, raw conversation about racism, about reconciliation, about protests and police reform, about all the things that many of us have questions on! This is just Part 1 of our conversation, so make sure to tune back in next week for Part 2 where we continue to deep dive these important topics.
I really appreciated Chris’s vulnerability, his willingness to share his story, and just his kindness and patience in letting me ask him some tough questions. He also gave some very practical action steps that we can take to start building racial unity in our very own homes! If you’ve been listening to the show for some time, you know I love me some practical action steps. One of these steps is to take an implicit bias test like the one I’ve linked below. So, here’s to learning together and being willing to acknowledge that we all have biases – this is the first step to our healing!
Links from the show:
Harvard Implicit Association Test:
Connect with Chris:
Instagram & Twitter: @csingleton_2
Listen to the latest episode here!
Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/enlighten-me-podcast/id1375899371
iHeart Radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-enlighten-me-podcast-63480681/