Speak Out: Are churches doing enough to ­address Black-on-Black violence?

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Recently City of Pittsburgh police chief Nate Harper challenged community groups and churches to do more to combat Black on Black violence, so we asked Pittsburghers their view and this is what you said:

jameswilliams

“I don’t think some of them are. They are not involved in the things that go on in the neighborhood and are not looking out for the interest of the people in the community. They are somewhat cut off from the society yet are supposed to help heal the wounds of the people.”
Collins Alleyne
Hazelwood
Landscaper

“No, I don’t think they are doing enough. They are not addressing the in-house issues of the church closely enough, the issues for the family. Until they do that, it is highly improbable that they will be able to address the issues outside of the church.”
James Williams
Wilkinsburg
Driver

“I haven’t been to church in a while but haven’t heard of what they are doing either. They can only do so much about the violence. People have to attend the church in order to get anything done.”
Hester Harold
Wilkinsburg
Bus driver

“There’s nothing that I am aware of. I haven’t noticed anything that the churches are doing. Maybe if I were more involved I would see what they do. I don’t know of any active things except prayer.”
Melindy Smith
Penn Hills
Residential advisor

“I think the churches are doing their share but I don’t know if people are listening to the messages that they are trying to give. Churches are open every Sunday and have a pastor preaching the message to the people, that’s what they do for the community.”
Terra Wright
Wilkinsburg
Program ­coordinator

“I don’t think they are doing enough. I think they are afraid to address any serious issues. A lot more things should be addressed in the church in general. In the history of Black churches, they were a place of refuge for African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement but they have gotten away from that. It’s not as popular to be a Christian. I think they could definitely do more.”
Dawn Larkins
Wilkinsburg
Student

(Compiled by Erin Perry. Photos by Erin Perry.)

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