My family is from Charleston, and has lived in the city since the late 1700s as Free Persons of Color (FPC). In the 1860s, a couple of my ancestors fled the city to avoid unjustly being forced into slavery, and decided to join the Union army to ensure the freedom of black, and all, Americans.
Many of my ancestors have fought in wars or served in the military to preserve our freedoms. My family is full of ministers, teachers, nurses, and people with advanced degrees. Prior to the Civil War, when it was illegal to educate blacks in Charleston, my ancestors secretly learned how to read. And today my grandmother still lives downtown, not far from Emanuel AME, and numerous others still live in the area. My cousin David Mack III is a State Representative for South Carolina in Charleston, and still in the eyes of some Americans, all of this is either meaningless or a sign of the ruining of America.
Read the entire article on The Daily Beast: here.