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They said they had not experienced open racial hostilities in St.
Landry Parish, a predominantly agricultural community with a deep pride in a francophone heritage that has spawned rich culinary and cultural traditions, like boudin and zydeco, and where one in four residents live in poverty.“I can’t comprehend that at all,” Ms. “There was really nothing per se that led up to it.”While church burnings might seem like a vestige from the country’s Jim Crow past, there have been notable instances in recent memory. president, said in a statement on Monday condemning the fires.
— Much of Monica Harris’s identity is tied to the Greater Union Baptist Church, a 129-year-old sanctuary that has been at the center of her family for generations.
As a child, she was dunked into a baptismal basin and then paraded like a princess up the aisle in a white dress and white patent leather shoes.
“There are good relationships within the black community and there are very good relationships interracially.The authorities said Monday that they were vetting new information every hour and that an A. Representative Clay Higgins, a Republican representing the area, said in an interview on Monday that based on information from the investigators and his own observations of the crime scenes, “the method of each burn is notably the same,” suggesting that the fires were related. Higgins, who left his job as a captain in the local sheriff’s office after he referred to alleged gang members who were black as “animals,” posted a video to Facebook directed at whoever burned down the churches.“Your only path to freedom is through jail,” he told the camera as he stood before a pile of charred bricks and rubble that is now St. “Turn yourself in because you’re going to jail, one way or the other.”Over the weekend, as the authorities worked to sort out what happened, black residents gathered for services with a mix of befuddlement, concern and defiance.“They burned down a building,” the Rev. Richard of Greater Union preached at a makeshift gathering Sunday in Opelousas.