Juneteenth, 2015

South Carolina. The first thing that always comes to my mind is my longtime friend, Lillian “Reba” Moses, daughter of a sharecropper and co-founder of Community Health Center. Reba was born in Florence, South Carolina and she made her way north as part of a migration for better opportunity for herself and her family. While a place of hard times, she always fondly remembered her days growing up in Florence and the influence that the church, prayer and faith had on her life.   Reba brought with her from South Carolina hope and faith that have sustained us for 43 years.

South Carolina. I can’t get the image out of my mind, of how a prayer circle ended in such tragedy, with the murder of nine people who had grown up together and were at Emanuel A.M.E. church in worship and prayer together. That these murders were motivated by racism and hatred is heartbreaking and fills us with anger. For the families who lost their loved ones and for others who lost the opportunity to have a Reba in their life, we send our prayers.

Today,  June 19th,  it’s an important day in our history that often gets overlooked;  “Juneteenth Independence Day” commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the United States of America in 1865 (150 years ago today). On a day we would be celebrating what we hoped was in our past, the fact is that Racism remains pervasive throughout our society. We are always at great intersections in America when we talk about race, as it always seems we find ourselves at the crossroads of hate and hope.  I’m with Reba on this and believe that we can bring hope through faith and action.

Martin Luther King put it best when he said:  “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty”

Peace and Health

Mark Masselli
President/CEO
Community Health Center,Inc

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