The wife of slain Emanuel AME Church pastor the Rev. Clementa Pinckney has penned a stirring description of President Barack Obama in Time magazine’s top 100 influential people issue.
Jennifer Pinckney compared the two men, both devoted husbands with two young daughters who dedicated their lives to public service.
Clementa Pinckney also was a Democratic state senator when he died, one of nine people gunned down at his church’s Bible study on June 17.
Obama flew to Charleston to deliver a widely applauded eulogy for Pinckney that ended with the president singing “Amazing Grace.”
Pinckney’s widow wrote in Time that she recalled Obama watching the Pinckney’s two young daughters during the funeral and saying to Michelle Obama. “Look at those girls. Don’t they remind you of ours?”
“It hit home for them,” Jennifer Pinckney wrote. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the thought had crossed his mind: Where would my girls be if something happened to me?”
Although Clementa Pinckney wasn’t president, perhaps he would have gone on to become a bishop or congressman, his wife wrote. He shared many similarities with Obama.
“President Obama and my husband were two God-fearing, charismatic black men dedicated to public service and to their wives and two daughters. They were both voices for the voiceless who got up with smiles when they got knocked down,” she wrote.
Jennifer Pinckney and their younger daughter survived the shooting by hiding in her husband’s office.
Reach Jennifer Hawes at 843-937-5563 or follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes.