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Pandemic and racial unrest test black clergy on dual fronts

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Marvin Joseph
/
Washington Post

UNDATED (AP)--   For black clergy across the United States, the past 10 days have been a tumultuous test of their stamina and skills.

For weeks, they had been striving to comfort their congregations amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has taken a disproportionately heavy toll on blacks.

Then came a coast-to-coast upsurge of racial tension and unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died in police custody.

Black pastors have been conferring with police, liaising with activists, and updating their sermons to address the overlapping crises. Said one pastor in Texas, “We've got a coronavirus and a racism virus.”