Chris Singleton reflects on mom, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, five years after the Charleston Church Shooting

Remembering Mother Emanuel

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Chris Singleton is now an inspirational speaker, traveling the country to speak to students about the importance of loving your neighbor.

This became his mission five years ago after his mom, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was killed along with eight others in the Charleston Church Shooting at Mother Emanuel.

Chris now sits on the field at Jospeh P. Riley Park just a couple of days away from the five year anniversary of the shooting and begins sharing memories of his mom.

“My mom was definitely loving, kind. She was a hugger. She would give you a kiss on the cheek if she knew you. Respectful, even people her age, she would say yes ma’am, no ma’am.”

Chris Singleton
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Chris described the night of June 17, 2015 as the “unthinkable” and as a dark moment in his life, but he’s been using that moment to help others face obstacles in their life.

According to his website, Chris has spoken to over 60,000 students across the country and this year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he had huge plans of speaking to his personal record number of students.

Chris is also choosing a new outlet to spread his message to children through his new book “Different.” He says the book will be focused on teaching kids the importance of loving your neighbor.

Chris Singleton’s book “Different”

He felt that the book was a good way of teaching them what he went through but in an appropriate way.

“I think the main thing behind the book was…me being able to share the message of love and unity and about my mom without telling kids that my mom was murdered because she was black..I think it’s not my place to take their innocence.”

Chris Singleton

Click here to order “Different” which is available now.

Chris didn’t just lose his mother over the last five years, but also his father, who passed away in February 2017.

Chris said he feels like he’s been asked every question you can be asked by many reporters but if there’s one thing that he wants people to remember, it’s that he wasn’t the only person affected by the loss of his parents.

“I have a little brother, who’s 17 now, getting ready to graduate high school next year. My sister, she’s 20 and she goes to Claflin, going to graduate college in a couple of years and they’re stronger than I am. Sometimes I feel guilty because I got more time with our parents than they did.”

Chris Singleton
Chris and his siblings, Camryn and Caleb
Courtesy: Chris Singleton

Finally, as he reflects, he begins to talk about his mom’s legacy.

“My mother’s legacy is her children. I’ve got a two-year-old son myself, CJ, so I hope and pray that I’ll be a father that can lead him in the right direction. I feel like my mother’s legacy is on me, putting a little pressure on myself, but I definitely want to make her proud.”

Chris Singleton
Chris, his wife, Mariana and their son, CJ
Courtesy: Chris Singleton

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