“I think one of the biggest takeaways is that hate doesn’t win,” Pastor Dimas Salaberrios told Bold TV when he stopped by to share his documentary, “Emanuel.” The film documents the horrific shooting which took place at the Emanuel A.M.E. church on June 17, 2015. Dimas, one of the producers for the film, is joined by executive producers Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and Stephen Curry.
The film features never-before-seen interviews with survivors and family members of the victims whose lives were viciously taken at the hands of Dylan Roof in a modern day hate crime. Roof has since been convicted of 33 federal charges, including murder and hate crimes, and has been given the death penalty.
Despite the incredible hatred which lead to the tragic deaths of nine African-American churchgoers and wounding three, the poignant story highlighted in “Emanuel” is how the victims’ families were able to forgive Roof. “Well, something supernatural happened in that courtroom,” Salaberrios said as he recounted the families addressing Roof during a bond hearing.
Salaberrios recalled Nadine Collier’s message for Roof after she lost her mother, Ethel Lance, in the shooting. “I just want everybody to know, to you, I forgive you! You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But God forgive you, and I forgive you,” Collier told Roof.
“She [Collier] got up and she was angry, upset and she said something felt like a presence took her over and those words came out. So I think there was something supernatural that happened,” Pastor Dimas said. This grace, which was a lead player in the documentary, was also demonstrated in then-President Barack Obama’s eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate. Obama brought the church to their feet when he began to sing “Amazing Grace,” as he celebrated Pinckney’s life and the lives of the other victims.
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Photo Credit: “Emanuel” film