Chris Singleton named YWCA MLK Parade Marshal

File: Chris Singleton (WCIV)

In the face of unthinkable tragedy, 19-year-old Chris Singleton chose love over hate and peace over violence because, he said, that's what his mom would have done.

And now, the YMCA is honoring his mother's memory and her son's resilience by naming Singleton parade marshal during the 2017 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

Chris Singleton will kick off the MLK Parade at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 16.

Organizers said they expect 60 to 100 parade floats and groups to participate in the parade which starts at Burke High School and heads to Marion Square.

Less than 24 hours after his mother was killed while praying at Emanuel AME, Singleton spoke to reporters and his teammates at Charleston Southern where he studies and plays baseball.

Standing there, late one humid Friday night, Singleton held back tears as he chose to promote love over hate.

"Love the way my mom would," he said. "Love is stronger than hate."

Since that moment, Singleton and his siblings have seen an incredible outpouring of support. Several professional athletes, including members of the New York Yankees and Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton, took time with Singleton. He was also awarded The Charleston RiverDogs' Humanitarian Award "for his help in strengthening the Charleston community with his resolve in the face of tragedy."

VIDEO: Chris Singleton raps about not letting his mother down

His story touched millions nationwide and was featured in Sports Illustrated one year after the June 2015 shooting.

When Charleston Southern set up a fund to help him with his education, he asked that the money go to a baseball enrichment center in memory of his mother. The Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Enrichment Center will be in place this season at the school.

"Chris Singleton's impact has transcended not just the Charleston Southern baseball program, but also the city of Charleston over the past two years," said CSU baseball coach Stuart Lake,. "His impact on the field is matched by his leadership off the field. The phrase 'Love is Stronger' has been key to the transformation at Charleston Southern over the past year."

For more information on the MLK Parade and other events planned for that day, you can go online to or call 843-722-1644.

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