Lawmakers to join marchers at Black Lives Matter rally at Statehouse

The South Carolina State House in Columbia.
The South Carolina State House in Columbia.(WCSC/WIS)
Updated: Jun. 20, 2020 at 11:58 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/WIS) - State and U.S. lawmakers will take part in a Black Lives Matter March and Rally Sunday in Columbia as part of the ongoing Juneteenth celebration.

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The Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is hosting that event as part of its Juneteenth Week of Action.

The march, according to organizers, is set to begin at Allen University and will end at the South Carolina State House. The march will be the final event of the Seventh Episcopal District’s “Juneteenth Week of Action” to celebrate Black lives and stand up against racial injustice.

“We are in unique times that require urgent moral action,” said Bishop Samuel L. Green, Sr., Presiding Bishop of the Seventh Episcopal District of the AME Church. “The faith community will gather to push for policy reform to ensure that all Black Lives Matter in South Carolina.”

Following the march, a rally will take place at the S.C. State House.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, and S.C. Rep. Jerry Govan are among those expected to speak at the rally.

Here’s a list of those scheduled to speak:

  • Mayor Steve Benjamin
  • Chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Jerry Govan
  • Vice President, Religious Affairs and External Relations National Action Network and Pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III
  • South Carolina NAACP President Brenda Murphy
  • President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Urban League J. T. McLawhorn,
  • The South Carolina United Methodist Conference Bishop L. Jonathan Holston
  • Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina Bishop Andrew Waldo
  • The South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Bishop Herman Yoos
  • Pastor of Brooklyn Baptist Church Dr. Charles B. Jackson, Sr.

Anyone who does not plan to walk in the march but wishes to attend the rally may use the shuttle bus to get to and from the rally. The bus will take riders from Allen University to the State House. The bus will also drop off those who wish to use the services to return to Allen University after the rally. The bus will run every 20 minutes from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. and is marked “Special.”

The Juneteenth holiday, on June 19, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, and it became effective the following Jan. 1. But it wasn’t enforced in many places until after the Civil War ended in April 1865. Word didn’t reach the last enslaved Black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.

While the holiday is usually celebrated with parades and festivals, it became a time of protest this year in the wake of demonstrations set off by George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Copyright 2020 WCSC/WIS. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.