The national president of Black Lawyers for Justice was in Charleston on Tuesday evening touting messages of disunity between black and white communities before marching to the church where nine people were shot and killed one week ago.
Malik Shabazz spoke loudly into a microphone in front of about 150 people during a press conference in Marion Square. He said he was invited to Charleston by a member of the local Black Lives Matter organization.
He condemned those in the community who forgave the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof, and encouraged black people to “arm yourself.”
“The only song in this hour is not we shall overcome, it is we shall overrun,” Shabazz said.
There were several other speakers, including national and local, who said they were angry after the mass shooting. They said there were race issues in the community that needed to be addressed besides whether or not the Confederate battle flag should be flown at the Statehouse, adding that those efforts were “too little too late.”
Nearby, but not associated with Shabazz’s press conference, about 10 white community members stood on the corner of King and Calhoun streets holding signs about ending white supremacy.
Jillian Brandl of Charleston said several organizations, including Southerners on New Ground, participated in an effort to find out what their roles could be in ending racism.
Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughton.