I was outside of Emanuel AME Church Sunday, and it was hot. To cool off, I stood in a shady spot next to the church. That’s when I saw something I want to share:

An old white man walked up to an old black man and said, “You don’t know me, but we’re brothers.” He shook the black man’s hand, and they talked for a few minutes. Had I not heard him say otherwise, I would have thought they had known one another for years.

I heard the white man mention that he went to the Citadel Square Baptist Church overlooking Marion Square. When he started going to that church, the year was 1965. How much has the world changed since then? How much has that white man’s way of thinking changed? What I saw unfold would not have happened in the segregated Charleston of 1965.

I wish that it could have happened a week earlier — that we would not need to see the worst in the world to bring out the best in people. There weren’t any cameras or press nearby; they were speaking as two people, for themselves, and I was lucky to overhear it.

Change may happen slowly, and change may be messy. But it’s important to realize that the world is changing — for the better — with every passing day.

Nicholas Sottile

Sanders Farm Lane

Charleston