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American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman was born a slave and escaped to freedom. She led many slaves to their own freedom …

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Now, a host of Charleston-area agencies and organizations are collaborating to not only share the story and attempt to give Thomas Martin the honor he's due, but using Martin as a symbol that could lead to healing and transformation in a city that many say is still divided on issues of race.

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In metropolitan areas such as Charleston and North Charleston, diverse groups of pastors have walked the streets to demonstrate unity and ask God's forgiveness for the sin of racism that still stains many holy spaces. 

But conversations are also taking place in less-populated, more rural areas, such as Moncks Corner, a town of about 11,000. 

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Family members, national and state political and spiritual leaders, including the likes of former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, honored the victims of the Emanuel tragedy this past week as they reflected on the lives of the fallen and also pressed for needed action to address racism.

“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed … When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy ...“Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go!” — Matthew 26:40-46 NIV

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People wait for a distribution of masks and food in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, after a state mandate was issued in April that requir…