I Do Believe, We Shall Overcome Someday!
The power of faith, courage, justice triumphed in the acquittal and apology offered to the Friendship Nine. On January 28, 2015, a South Carolina prosecutor, Kevin Brackett, apologized on behalf of the justice system to the nine black men who claimed their human dignity and rights fifty-four years ago when they sat at a white-only lunch counter to eat. They were arrested and carried a criminal record until Judge, John C. Hayes III, vacated the convictions.
These are the kind of events that fall into obscurity. The quest for justice and human dignity is often pursued by those that history forgets. In this case, we have a reason to be encouraged the next time we are tempted to think our actions do not matter because they are not significant. That tiny seed of justice planted over fifty years ago is growing into a tree of justice as our Nation copes with the embedded and systematic racism that still plagues us. God bless the Friendship Nine whose legacy now encourages us to stand up for what is right and just. Their victory is a call to action.
We join with all our sisters and brothers in the Interfaith Community in thanking God for the courage of John Alexander Gaines, Thomas Walter Gaither, Clarence H. Graham, Willie Thomas Massey, Willie Edward McCleod, James Frank Wells, David Williamson Jr., Mack C. Workman, and Robert L. McCullough who died in 2006.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P. and
The Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project