Rev. Eric S. C. Manning (copy)

The Rev. Eric S. C. Manning of Emanuel AME Church speaks during a press conference Thursday, April 20, 2017. Gregory Yee/Staff 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — The senior pastor of South Carolina's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church will deliver a talk on race relations at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The Greenville News reports Rev. Eric Manning is scheduled to speak Thursday on how the July 2015 massacre at the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South provided an impetus to improve race relations and mutual understanding between blacks and whites.

Charleston's Mother Emanuel is where nine people were shot and killed by white supremacist Dylann Roof at a bible study.

USC Upstate associate professor of English and director of English composition Monika Shehi says Manning's keynote address ties in to this year's assigned reading for first years, "The Fire Next Time" by Jesmyn Ward.

The event is free and open to the public.

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