Mother Emanuel Church
Thursday, May 23, 2019 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. — As we approach the fourth anniversary of the Emanuel AME Church shooting on June 17, Charleston County Public Library is planning several special events and programs to honor the nine Charlestonians who lost their lives, including a 31-year library employee.

Cynthia Graham Hurd, manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library, was one of nine individuals who died during the shocking church shooting. During the past year, local residents have shared stories about Cynthia, how she touched their lives, how she taught them to read and how the time she spent and the interest she showed helped many of them turn their lives around and reach for their dreams.

During June, the library is offering special programs, exhibits and a month-long book drive to bring the community together to talk about what we've learned in the past year and how we can continue the legacy of those killed far too young. Check out the programs below, and join us.  

Learn more about Cynthia's service at the libary and to the community.

Reading Partners Book Drive
Dorchester Road Regional Library  
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
John’s Island Regional Library
Main Library
Mt. Pleasant Regional Library
Otranto Road Regional Library
Throughout June
Donate, donate, donate! Residents are encouraged to drop off new or gently used children’s books for students in kindergarten through third grade at six CCPL branches and select Mellow Mushroom locations. Donated books will be distributed through the Reading Partners’ network of tutors to help students in local schools improve their literacy and reading levels. Students will be able to further develop their love of reading by building their own library collections at home with the donated books. This book drive is hosted by the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation and Reading Partners, in partnership with CCPL, the Berkeley County Public Library, Live 5 News and Mellow Mushroom. 

A Moment of Silence ... to Love
John L. Dart Library
Throughout June
In honor of Cynthia Graham Hurd’s life of kindness and service, visit the library and write a note of gratitude to a person who has helped you in your life, or share how you plan to help someone in need. Post your note to our “A Moment of Silence … to Love” display. Children will receive a free book provided by the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation. Supplies are limited, and books will be available for the first 100 children who participate.

Food Drive
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
Throughout June
In honor of Cynthia Graham Hurd, stop by the library to donate non-perishable food that will be given to Lowcountry Food Bank.

"Grace Will Lead Us Home": Author Talk and Book Signing with Jennifer Berry Hawes
Main Library
Tuesday, June 11 at 6 p.m.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes will talk about her book, "Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness,"  in which she explores the aftermath of the devastating shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church and its impact on the community. Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event, courtesy of Blue Bicycle Books. 

“For Such a Time as This”: Author Talk and Book Signing with Reverend Sharon Risher
Main Library
Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m.
The instant her phone rang, Reverend Sharon Risher sensed something was horribly wrong. Something had happened at Emanuel AME Church, the church of her youth in Charleston, and she knew her mother was likely at Bible study in the church. Even before she heard the news, her chaplain's instinct told her the awful truth: her mother was dead, along with two cousins. What Risher couldn't imagine was that they had been murdered by a white supremacist. Plunged into the depths of mourning and anger and shock, she could have wallowed in the pain. Instead, she chose the path of forgiveness and hope – eventually forgiving the convicted killer for his crime. “For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness after the Charleston Massacre” is Risher’s powerful memoir of faith, family and loss. Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event.

Pledge to Read 
John L. Dart Library
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
Monday, June 17 to Saturday, June 22
Visit the library, and sign a reading pledge. Participating children and teens will receive a free book provided by the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation while supplies last. 

Stick Together: A Community Art Project
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
Monday, June 17 to Saturday, June 29
Help assemble a 3,996 piece sticker mosaic, and watch the picture unfold. No art skills required!

Love/Peace Bands
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
Monday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Create a band of love or peace for yourself or someone else. Materials are provided.

Plantation Singers
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
Tuesday, June 18 at 6 p.m.
Enjoy a performance by the Plantation Singers, one of the most renowned a capella and percussion gospel groups in the southeast. Formed in 1996 by Charleston native Lynnette White, the Plantation Singers have performed across the nation and internationally. This program will feature lively renditions of traditional Gullah spirituals and the sacred music of the South Carolina Lowcountry. This program will honor the memory of Cynthia Graham Hurd.

Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, a Victim's Husband, and the Path to Healing and Peace
Main Library
Tuesday, June 18 at 6 p.m.
After the murder of his wife during the Charleston church shooting, Anthony Thompson chose to publicly and privately forgive the shooter. Though many questioned his reasoning, the community response radically changed as people witnessed his act of forgiveness. Thompson’s book, “Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, a Victim's Husband, and the Path to Healing and Peace” is a poignant account that shows how forgiveness can affect our lives, communities, and even our nation. Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event.