More than 400 people gathered inside the Grace Episcopal Church in Providence on Sunday afternoon for an interfaith memorial and prayer vigil for the victims of the racist murders that took place in Charleston more than a week ago. Though these events happened far from Rhode Island, our state is far from innocent. Ours is the state with the lowest percentage of Black home ownership. Our General Assembly ended the the legislative season unable to pass any laws banning guns from schools or keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Jim Vincent, President of the NAACP-Providence Branch, connected the racism of the alleged shooter with the rash of church burnings throughout the south and with the racist leaflets recently dropped in East Greenwich.
Flowers were distributed to attendees, and candles were lit for the victims. It was an often emotional service, and the videos below document the entire event. The event ended with all those in attendance singing “We Shall Overcome.”