Weekend interlude: Just a closer walk with thee

The setting and circumstances of Charleston’s atrocity remind me of the many times that I’ve visited various African-American churches. As a white non-Christian, I’ve always been embraced as a valued guest. That Dylann Roof was accorded similar hospitality, and yet apparently went on to murder the very people who graciously welcomed him adds yet another incomprehensibly depraved element to this attack.

We could all use some joyful noise to salve the wound just a little bit. Below are Mahalia Jackson and Louis Armstrong, at the Newport Jazz Festival 1970.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

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