Anger, Sorrow and Joy at Funeral for Former Dallas Council Member Carolyn Davis and Her Daughter

The pastor exploded at first. Full of fury; brimming with rage.To the congregation of mourners who filled the Inspiring Body of Christ's immense auditorium, the Rev. Jerry Christian, senior pastor at Kirkwood Temple C.M.E. Church, said, "We are here today because the forces of evil and a breakdown of the justice system ... collided with goodness." In a tone sharp and stinging, Christian said his first instincts had been to deliver a eulogy for former council member Carolyn Davis and her daughter that would "lash out at the perpetrator of this horrendous event" — a car wreck that police say was caused by a man with a long history of driving drunk.Davis and 27-year-old Melissa Lashan Nunn Davis were Christian's congregants, his friends. He had known them most of their lives. At Kirkwood, Carolyn Davis met former South Dallas council member Diane Ragsdale, who Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price called Davis' "political mother." On many Sundays, you could find Davis near the back of the sanctuary, Melissa in tow.Homegoing services are meant to be celebrations, a raucous, joyful, song-filled send-off to a place better than this one, and a healing moment for those left behind. But the crowd in the auditorium, filled with family and friends and familiar faces who have rotated in and out of Dallas City Hall, would have understood if Christian wanted to lash out in his grief. The sentiment was palpable throughout the auditorium, just beneath the exultation — the sorrow drenched in rage.  Continue reading...

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