The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, who has been called the dean of the civil rights movement, died Friday, The King Center said.
Lowery, 98, was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with the Rev. Martin Luther King.
The Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights said he died peacefully at 10 p.m. surrounded by his daughters at home.
“Hailed as the ‘Dean of the Civil Rights Movement’ upon his receipt of the NAACP’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Lowery had assumed and executed a broad and diverse series of roles over the span of his nine decades: leader, pastor, servant, father, husband, freedom fighter and advocate,” the institute said in a statement.
Lowery, who delivered the benediction in President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama later that year.
“Born and raised in Jim Crow Alabama, preaching in his blood, the Rev. Joseph Lowery is a giant of the Moses generation of civil rights leaders,” Obama said at the ceremony. “It was just King, Lowery and a few others, huddled in Montgomery, who laid the groundwork for the bus boycott and the movement that was to follow.”
He was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on October 6, 1921, and in the 1950s, he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association, the organization that led the movement to desegregate buses and public accommodations, according to the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute.
In 1965, King picked Lowery to chair the delegation delivering the demands of the Selma-to-Montgomery march to Alabama’s governor, George Wallace.
‘Uncle Tom’ Trends On Twitter After RNC Trots Out Black Men To Deny Trump’s Racism
Whether through sheer coincidence — or not — “Uncle Tom” was one of the top trending topics on Twitter Tuesday morning following the opening night of the Republican National Convention (RNC) that featured several Black men making the case for Donald Trump to be re-elected.
More than 6,000 “Uncle Tom” tweets were posted following speeches from Democratic Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones, former professional football star Herschel Walker and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. They each took turns trying to dispel any notion of racism in America or among its leadership despite Trump’s repeated personal demonstrations to the contrary.
“The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation,” Jones, who has been called an “embarrassment” to Democrats, said Monday night at the RNC. “We’ve been forced to be there for decades and generations. But I have news for Joe Biden: We are free. We are free people with free minds.”
Walker, who was one of Trump’s employees when he played in the USFL — another of Trump’s failed business ventures — said his “soul” was hurt when he learned people called the president racist.
“I take it as a personal insult that people think I would have a 37-year friendship with a racist,” Walker said Monday night with a straight face during his official endorsement of Trump’s re-election.
“These shots pierce the soul of our nation,” stated Biden on Jacob Blake shooting
Former Vice President and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden issued a statement Monday morning on the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“Yesterday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back as police attempted to restrain him from getting into his car,” the statement reads. “His children watched from inside the car and bystanders watched in disbelief. And this morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force. This calls for an immediate, full and transparent investigation and the officers must be held accountable.”
A short video circulating on social media shows a man, presumably Blake, walking toward a vehicle. The video shows that police shoot the man in the back as he opened the driver’s door of the car.
“These shots pierce the soul of our nation,” stated Biden. “Jill and I pray for Jacob’s recovery and for his children.”
“Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others,” the statement continues. “We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us. We must fight to honor the ideals laid in the original American promise, which we are yet to attain: That all men and women are created equal, but more importantly that they must be treated equally.”
Protests erupted after the shooting Sunday. Fires were set to dumpsters meant to block off roads in the area. The Kenosha County Courthouse and Administration Building were both closed Monday due to overnight damage from the unrest.