FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

November 5, 2009


PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM AWARDEE AND CIVIL RIGHTS FIGURE DR. JOSEPH LOWERY  TO SPEAK AT GLIDE CHURCH

Sunday, November 8, 2009


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Rev. Joseph Lowery, 87, a major figure in the civil rights movement who marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and gave the benediction at Barack Obama's inauguration will preach at Glide Memorial Church at 11:00AM Celebrations on Sunday November 8th.


Best known for his wonderful benediction at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009 ending with an interpolation of Big Bill Broonzy’s “Black, Brown and White”:
 
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen! Say Amen! And Amen!

In 2006, at Coretta Scott King’s funeral, Dr. Lowery received a standing ovation when he remarked before four United States Presidents (including the standing president George Bush):
 
We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance, poverty abounds, for war billions more . . . but no more for the poor!


Reverend Lowery has received many prestigious awards, among them: a Life Time Achievement Award for the NAACP in 1997; the Martin Luther King Jr. Center Peace Award and the National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004; several honorary doctorates from colleges and universities including Dillard University, Morehouse College, Alabama State University and University of Alabama, Huntsville. Recently, in 2009, Reverend Lowery received the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.


Lowery was pastor of the Warren Street Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama from 1952 until 1961. His career in the civil rights movement began in the early 1950s in Mobile, Alabama. After Rosa Parks’ arrest in 1955, Lowery helped lead the Montgomery bus boycott. He headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association, an organization devoted to the desegregation of buses and public places. In 1957, with Martin Luther King Jr., Lowery founded the Southern Christina Leadership Conference and subsequently led the organization as its president from 1977 to 1997. He currently services as Founder of the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights at Clark Atlanta University www.loweryinstitute.org

 

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