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By John Aaron, Sculptor and Director of Chalk4Peace

Early this summer [2016], I was commissioned to create this tribute to the Emanuel Nine of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. It is a memorial to the people who lost their lives when a self professed white supremacist gunned them down during their Bible Study at the Church on the evening of June 17,  2015. This sculpture took more than 500 hours.

A memorial sculpture for those who died at Emanuel AME Church, Charleston


Emanuel AME Church is a glazed porcelain relief sculpture 5’4” x 3’8” x 6” whose details include the embossed names of the Fallen, The Emanuel Nine. Renditions of the floral tributes and messages and pictorial accuracy of this historic building. This one-of-a-kind portrait of the most significant church in the heart of the civil rights movement in America, it is ready to join the Charleston community, where it belongs. A custom crate was created to protect it as it crosses the country. It has been meticulously packed.

I believe this piece belongs at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston to serve as a touchstone for hope and healing- a monument to peace and love and the greater good. Those so affected by the losses, family and friends are who this memorial was truly created for.  It is one of the ways to insure they will never be forgotten. Getting this art to the Church is my priority. But now the project needs help. A ceremony- the lighting of nine candles and the reading of each name of the Fallen as each candle is lit manifested itself as a result of the first installation of the sculpture. It is my hope that this gesture becomes a tradition to assist in keeping the memory of these fine people alive.

The Emanuel Nine

Details of Memorial Sculpture and Emanuel AME Church