A “lil positivity” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
According to ABC News:
Rev. Joseph Lowery remembers when the 1960s South was burning with racism — the day a white man walked up to him and stubbed out a lit cigar on his shoulder, when iced tea was thrown in his face, when four young black men were shot with pistols as he led a march against segregation in Decatur, Ala. “I have been arrested and threatened,” he said last week. “Even when I was a little boy, 12 or 13, a policeman hit me in the stomach with his night club. … It makes me hate violence.”
At 91, Lowery has lived the civil rights movement, which comes full circle with the re-election and Monday’s inauguration of President Obama, coincidentally, but with great symbolism, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Lowery was one of King’s closest aides and, in 1957, co-founded with him and Ralph David Abernathy the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which led freedom marches and voter registration drives.
He also delivered the benediction at Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, addressing the continued scourge of racism. “We tend to think of them in the same breath,” Lowery, who lives in Atlanta, said of King and Obama. “They are both committed to justice and brotherhood.” Lowery describes his friend “Martin,” who would have been 84 on Jan. 15, as “the most amazing person I have ever known,” whose vision was rooted in his faith, a “gift” he also sees in Obama.
“Barack’s background was entirely different from Martin’s,” he said. “But he is touched by human need and suffering and the belief that we have the same moral obligation to care for the needy and bless the poor.” Monday’s inauguration kicks off a year of important commemorations that propelled the struggle for equal rights forward: the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation and 50 years since the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Mississippi black activist Medgar Evers.
R.I.P. to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.