By: TANNIA JOHNSON
On Monday, February 17, former baseball player for the Chicago Cubs and South Bend Cubs, Chris Singleton, spoke at an event at IU South Bend. He now travels the country as an inspirational speaker, describing his story.
Hosted by Titan Productions, Office of Student Life, and Black Student Union organizations of Indiana University South Bend, Singleton spoke on the hate crime that took place on June 17th, 2015, that claimed the life of his mother along with eight other victims at Emanuel AME Church in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
When describing how he gains the strength to travel and tell the story of forgiving his mother’s murderer, Singleton stated that, “there are five numbers that describe the frequency of why I do what I do.
Those numbers are 1, 70, 50, 9, and 1.
One person was misinformed on Black people, and so he walked into my church and fired 70 bullets. And my people were holding hands and they were praying in my church. 50 plus of those bullets entered bodies in my church. This man took 9 lives. And one of those lives was my mom, Sharonda Ann Coleman-Singleton.
So now when somebody asks me ‘Chris, why do you do what you do? How do you do it so much?’ my question is ‘How could I stop? It’s real life and it happened to me. That’s why I’m so passionate about spreading this message.”
Singleton works to inspire his audiences when describing his personal tragedies and how he overcame them.
The individual responsible for this crime, Dylann Roof, is serving a life penalty with no parole, and was sentenced to nine consecutive sentences of life after formally pleading guilty to state murder charges in 2017.