Arson Suspected at Mainly Black Church in North Carolina

TIME

Authorities in Charlotte, N.C. are investigating a fire at a predominantly black Baptist church as arson, the Charlotte Fire Department has said.

The Briar Creek Road Baptist Church’s co-pastors Mannix Kinsey and his wife Rhonda Kinsey, are African American, and most of the roughly 100 parishioners at the church are black, reports The Charlotte Observer. Investigators are looking into whether it may have been a hate crime.

Authorities are on high alert over possibly racially-motivated crimes after the murder of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17th, and there is a long history of arson against black churches in the U.S. The most infamous may be the fire that killed four little black girls at a black church in Birmingham, Alabama in September of 1963, an event that brought widespread national attention to the civil rights movement.

But there was a spate of such…

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