What follows is some historical narrative which may partially explain the recent shootings at black churches. Understand that prior to the civil war, the majority of United States Blacks were completely subservient and answerable to white folk such as plantation owners. White people were used to having their foot on the necks of Negros whether they realized it or not. Blacks had no formal place to assemble that they could call their own with any type of sovereign practices. This included having to worship in a white church preselected for them by White men.
After the war, African Americans created their own Houses of the Lord which established a freedom and autonomy that many Whites disliked or feared. I mean places where Blacks could talk about the oppressiveness of being ruled and dominated by Whites for so long. From this mix one can, at least, understand the church shooter in Charleston named Dylann Roof who apparently was partially motivated by black men raping white women. The deeply disturbed white gunman, in the ultimate display of ineptitude, tried to kill himself but was out of bullets after slaughtering 9 well to do African Americans.
After the Civil War, many African-Americans decided to leave the white congregations where they had had been obliged to pray at as slaves and created their own churches which was quite unsettling to many White folks.
What happened in those years after Emancipation is what the African-American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois and a few others have described as the “first social institution fully controlled by black men in America.” Black churches performed a lot of useful functions such as overseeing schools, offered burial assistance and served as clearinghouses for information about jobs, social happenings and politics. More than just spiritual centers, they strove to advance their communities’ incipient political aspirations. Needless to say, the leaders of these post-bellum Black houses of worship had substantial influence on large groups of young black men.