Standing on Holy Ground

A Triumph over Hate Crime in the Deep South

Sandra E. Johnson

St. Martin's Press

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A sweeping epidemic of hate crime targeted over one hundred Southern Black Churches between 1995 and 1996, leaving them in charred ruins. St. John Baptist Church in Dixiana, South Carolina, was one of the first destroyed. This small, isolated church had faced dark times before. It had been viciously desecrated in 1985 and withstood more attacks until it was burned down in August 1995.

From the beginning, two friends--a white woman named Ammie Murray, and a black woman named Barbara Simmons--rallied volunteers to rebuild the historic St. John. Much to their amazement, hundreds of people from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds responded to their call for help. They refused to stop rebuilding the church-despite repeated attempts on Ammie and Barbara's lives and relentless attacks on the church. Soon, these two heroic women joined the leaders and congregations from two other burned, black churches-Macedonia Baptist and Mt. Zion AME-in leading the nation in a courageous battle against hate crime in the deep South.

Beautifully rendered with warmth and grace, this inspiring story of enduring friendship, reconciliation, spiritual strength, and hope shows us how we can triumph over racial hatred.

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BOOK ONEONESilent TongueThe morning of January 2, 1985, started out ordinarily enough for Ammie as she maneuvered her Topaz sedan into its customary parking space behind the small office building where she worked. Winter’s chill made the air crisp and glittered the ground with frost. She looked forward to getting into the office and finding out how her close friend and coworker, Barbara Simmons, had enjoyed the holidays.Gathering her purse and briefcase, she thought back to the day seven years earlier when she first met Barbara. The shy, full-figured African-American woman had come into Ammie’s

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Praise for Standing on Holy Ground

"...a ruthlessly honest account of the new progressive South still struggling with a very old legacy of hate." --USA Today
"
...shows how faith, love, and sheer bullheadedness may lose battle after battle against racism - and still win the war." --O Magazine

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About the Author

Sandra E. Johnson

Sandra E. Johnson is a regular guest columnist for The State, South Carolina's largest newspaper. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, Transitions Abroad, and Columbia Metropolitan magazine. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina about twenty miles from St. John Baptist Church, and participated in its rebuilding.

Sandra E. Johnson

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Available Formats and Book Details

Standing on Holy Ground
A Triumph over Hate Crime in the Deep South
Sandra E. Johnson

Award

Christopher Awards - Nominee, Christopher Awards - Winner

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
May 2002
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312269289
ISBN10: 0312269285
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$24.95

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
May 2002
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429975957
ISBN10: 1429975954
352 pages
$7.99
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St. Martin's Press

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