Hillary Clinton delivered a speech Friday the AME Church General Conference. AME Church has been fighting racial injustice for over 200 years.
Hillary Clinton, the Presidential nominee hopeful of the Democratic Party delivered an important keynote speech at the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church's Quadrennial Session on Friday night.
In a recent poll, 91 percent of the African-Americans surveyed supported Clinton. Less than 1 percent backed Donald Trump.
Clinton focused on the Dallas shooting and recent killing of African-American men by police officers. She wove passages from the Bible throughout her talk.
“What can leaders and people of faith say about events like these? It’s hard to even know where to start,” Clinton said. “For now, let’s focus on what we already know deep in our hearts. We know there is something wrong with our country. There is too much violence. Too much hate. Too much senseless killing. And too many people who are dead who shouldn’t be.”
Attendees were pleased with Clinton’s speech:
“I’ve never heard a major candidate speak about social reform in as much entirety as she did,” said Michael Scroggins, a pastor from Illinois. “She used this moment to address the real issues.”
The AME’s General Conference began July 6 and runs until July 15.
It is estimated by the AME that the conference will be attended by 30,000 people. The Fourth of July weekend saw a statue of Richard Allen, founder of the AME Church, inaugurated at Lombard and 6th streets.
Richard Allen had started America's first independent African-American denomination church. He founded the Bethel AME Church after observing white officials of the St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church expelling Absalom Jones, a clergyman and friend, while praying on his knees. The AME church was established in 1791.
Reverend Gregory Ingram, the host bishop looking after the Quadrennial General Conference, and also leader of the First Episcopal District of the AME Church, said that his church was upholding African-American rights much before Black Lives Matter came into existence.
Teresa Fry, the historiographer of the AME Church, said that this anniversary underlines a major legal achievement by an African-American religious organization. According to her, they were forced to fight all the way to the high court. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court passed the judgment that Methodist Episcopal Church truly resisted the independent black denomination.
— Mr. Weeks ✊? (@MrDane1982) July 9, 2016
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts showcased a number of successful efforts made by the church to counter segregation and discrimination over time. This includes a photograph of AME bishops praying with the Supreme Court in the background. They were appealing to the court for the favorable ruling in the 1954 era Brown vs. Board of Education legal case which ended the legal segregation present in U.S. schools. The AME's tempered the pride and joy with a reminder to its congregation that the work by the denomination for racial justice is going on. Reverend Leslie Tyler, a Bethel AME leader, listed names of the nine members belonging to Charleston, SC's Mother Emanuel AME who were shot by a supposedly racist attack about a year before.