Last week, a white supremacist named Dylann Roof entered a Bible study group at Charleston, South Carolina's Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church, and allegedly shot and killed nine members
. All of these victims were Black. The incident is being charged as a hate crime, and is the largest incident of homegrown terrorism
since 9/11. In the wake of such a tragedy, it's easy to let stories of hate and racism, and the ideology of the man who committed the crimes dominate the conversation.
However, a breathtaking new series by photographer Dan Xeller for Southern Living
magazine, is doing its part to change that. The collection of black and white, and color photographs is titled "What Unity Looks Like in Charleston," and is comprised of 57 images of residents of, visitors to, and landmarks in the grief-stricken city.
The photos depict the power of interpersonal connection in the face of inhumane violence. Hands are held, heads are bowed, and children are raised above vibrant crowds. Ahead, see 12 uplifting examples of what a community looks like when, against all odds, it comes together.Photos reprinted with permission.