Last night, a caucasian man in his early 20s walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, spent an hour in a prayer meeting, and then opened fire, killing nine people. Included in those killed was the pastor of the church and current state senator, the Honorable Clementa C. Pinckney, who happens to be a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.
According to the New York Times,
“Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of Mr. Pinckney, told NBC News that she had spoken with a survivor of the shooting who told her the gunman reloaded five times. The survivor, she said, told her that the gunman had entered the church and asked for the pastor. Then he sat next to Mr. Pinckney during the Bible study before opening fire.
“I have to do it,” the gunman was quoted as saying. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Senator Pinckney served four years in the South Carolina House of Representatives and in November 2000, he was elected to represent the citizens of District 45 in the South Carolina State Senate. He is a magna cum laude graduate with a degree in Business Administration from Allen University and received a Masters in Public Administration from USC and further studies at Princeton.
We at WatchTheYard.com are at a loss for words. We just called Alpha Phi Alpha headquarters in Maryland and found out that Rev. Pinckney crossed into the Gamma Gamma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at Allen University on December 6th 1992.
We have reached out to the administration of Alpha Phi Alpha and are currently waiting for their comments.
Fellow reverend, theSharonda Coleman-Singleton who happened to be a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha was also killed by the shooter who is now reportedly in custody. (Click here to read her story)
If you have any pictures, memories of Rev. Pinckney in regards to his connection with Alpha Phi Alpha please write them in the comment section below or send them to WatchTheYard@Gmail.com