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New Canaan Library and United Methodist Church Remember the Emanuel Church Shooting

Tuesday, September, 17, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


In partnership with United Methodist Church of New Canaan, New Canaan Library invites and encourages the community to participate in a very important and thoughtful evening that commemorates and examines the tragic events of the Emanuel African Methodist Church shooting that occurred on July 17, 2015.

We all remember the headlines that blazed the story: Churchgoers Gunned Down during Prayer Service in Charleston, South Carolina. On Tuesday, September 17 from 7 – 9 p.m., the Library and United Methodist are honored to host “Miss Polly” Sheppard and Rose Timmons, two members of Emanuel African Methodist Church who directly experienced the enormous impact of that tragic day. Ms. Sheppard, a 72-year-old retired nurse and longtime member of Emanuel Church, was in the Bible study when the shootings took place and is one of only three survivors. Also speaking will be Rose Simmons, daughter of Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons Sr., who was killed in the church. Together, they bring to New Canaan, as they have to scores of communities, the riveting documentary by Viola Davis and Stephen Curry, EMANUEL: The Untold Story of the Victims and Survivors of the Charleston Church Shooting, and graciously share their personal experiences of that fateful night. The event takes place in the Library’s Adrian Lamb Room; please register to attend, online at newcanaanlibrary.org.

After a 21-year-old white supremacist opened fire in the church, nine African Americans lay dead—leaving their families and the nation to grapple with this senseless act of terror. In an incredibly tragic time, a very unique – and almost unbelievable – story unfolded. Forty-eight hours later, in the midst of unspeakable grief and suffering, the families of the Emanuel Nine stood in court facing the killer … and offered words of forgiveness. Their demonstration of grace ushered the way for hope and healing across a city and the nation.
Marking the fourth anniversary of the event, executive producers Stephen Curry and Viola Davis, co-producer Mariska Hargitay, and director Brian Ivie (The Drop Box) present EMANUEL. The documentary powerfully weaves the history of race relations in Charleston, the significance and impact of Mother Emanuel Church, and the hope that somehow emerges in the aftermath. EMANUEL is a poignant story of justice and faith, love and hate, examining the healing power of forgiveness.


New Canaan Library + United Methodist Church


New Canaan Library
151 Main Street
New Canaan, CT 06840 United States
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