This month, Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) is honoring the lives of those lost at the Mother Emanuel AME Church five years ago by promoting acts of kindness around the county and releasing a special tribute documentary about Cynthia.
The Library is asking the public to perform acts of kindness and post a photo or video of the act to social media using #ThisIsForCynthia. Cynthia Graham Hurd was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church and she was a beloved long-time librarian with CCPL. The Cynthia Graham Hurd/St. Andrews Library is named after her.
“We do not want anyone to forget what happened to Cynthia or the eight others killed in the church five years ago,” said CCPL Executive Director Angela Craig. “Every year since the tragedy, we have worked to honor her legacy through book drives for her family’s foundation, special programs, exhibits and events. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to host these tributes this year and that pains us. We hope the community will take this opportunity to share a little love, even from afar.”
All in-person public programs and events were suspended at all CCPL libraries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CCPL published a video showing some of its staff members performing a few acts of kindness in hopes to encourage the public to keep it going the rest of June. Those who participate should upload photos or videos of their acts of kindness and tag them with #ThisIsForCynthia.
“We hope this sparks a string of positive interactions,” said Craig. “More than ever, we should all work to make kind connections within our community.”
CCPL will also release a video tribute of Cynthia Graham Hurd on June 17. “Cynthia Graham Hurd, A Legacy Everlasting,” was produced by CCPL Digital Studio Manager and local documentarian Julian Gooding and features family, friends and elected officials sharing their stories and special messages.
“These interviews help celebrate Cynthia and the beautiful person she was,” said Gooding. “We are not focusing on the tragedy. Instead, we are celebrating her lasting legacy.”
Among those featured are U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn and his daughter, Mignon Clyburn, former State Rep. Bakari Sellers, Rev. Eric Manning of Mother Emanuel AME Church, Grammy-award winning gospel singer John P. Kee, who composed a song dedicated to Cynthia, and former Vice President Joe Biden.