Denmark Vesey – a fighter for racial equality

Denmark Vesey, a leader of Charleston African Americans, one of the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (now called Mother Emanuel), a husband and a father died on this day nearly 200 years ago. Mr. Vesey was accused, convicted and ultimately killed (along with 34 others) for being a leader of “the rising”, the most extensive slave revolt planned for July 14, 1822 in Charleston.

He was a former slave who bought his own freedom with winnings from a city lottery. “He was obviously a self-sacrificing man and pledged it all to the freedom of other people,” says Bernard Powers.

After Vesey’s execution, Charleston authorities exiled the remaining African Methodist Episcopal Church leaders and razed the church.

The leaders of Mother Emanuel have been fighting for racial equality and justice since the doors of Mother Emanuel Church opened over 200 years ago and that fight continues today. Click here to learn more fascinating facts about Denmark Vesey.