WEARING A T-SHIRT emblazoned with the words “Black Lives Matter,” the Rev. Mark Tyler wiped his brow at the pulpit, waiting as a few parishioners walked out of Mother Bethel AME church’s air-conditioned basement chapel into the steaming summer air.

After church services ended yesterday, about 100 who remained settled back into their seats to hear about Sandra Bland, a Chicago-area AME churchgoer who died in a Texas county jail cell July 12.

Tyler; state Sen. Art Haywood; Rabbi Shawn Zevit; Laniece Williams, from the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice; and Tanya Brown-Dickerson, whose son Brandon Tate-Brown was fatally shot by an officer in December, sat before the crowd at the red dais.

Read More →