Civil Rights Legend Rev. Joseph E. Lowery Dies at 98

The Black community is mourning the loss of civil rights icon Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.

A co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lowery was a compassionate leader in the fight for equality for Black people. He leaves a legacy that will be honored forever.


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Now a great, powerful ancestor. #JosephLowery

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According to a statement issued by the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights, Lowery died peacefully at the age of 98, surrounded by his daughters at home late Friday evening.


Former President Barack Obama paid tribute to the late Lowery, who offered the benediction at his 2008 inauguration calling him a “giant who changed the face of America.”


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The Reverend Joseph Lowery was born and raised in Jim Crow Alabama with no power or privilege to speak of. But he had preaching in his blood. He had a conviction that he could join and inspire others to push for change. From those early days of the movement to his long leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he did so much to carry us ever closer to the just, fair, inclusive, and generous America promised in our founding ideals. Reverend Lowery changed the face of America. He carried the baton longer and surer than almost anybody. It falls to the rest of us now to pick it up and never stop moving forward until we finish what he started–that journey to justice. Michelle and I remember him fondly today, and our love and prayers are with his family and his nationwide flock.

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In 2009 Obama awarded Lowery the presidential medal of freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US, in recognition of his long service in the battle for racial equality.


“Rev. Joseph Lowery was a giant who let so many of us stand on his shoulders.”


Sending our thoughts and prayers to the Lowery family at this time as we continue to honor the life and legacy of Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.

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