Justice advocates celebrated the achievements of Rev. Joseph Lowery on Saturday following news that the civil rights legend had died.
“Our beloved, Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, made his transition peacefully at home at 10 pm, Friday, March 27, at the age of 98. He was surrounded by his daughters,” a statement from Lowery’s family said.
Dubbed the “dean” of the civil rights movement, Lowery’s activism spanned decades. His achievements included co-founding, along with ally Martin Luther King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), leading a successful bus boycott in Mobile, Alabama, and delivering the demands of the Selma-to-Montgomery March to then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Lowery also fought for environment justice and voting rights, denounced militarism, and, as United Methodist minister, was a celebrated preacher.
“We’ve come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely and died too young, to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey to justice,” Lowery said.
Rev. Joseph Lowery was truly a civil rights hero. pic.twitter.com/nnxykAGa6K
— Lawyers’ Committee 866-OUR-VOTE (@LawyersComm) March 28, 2020
#JosephLowery was a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference + dedicated his life to the pursuit of #justice. President @BarackObama honored him with a Presidential Medal of Honor in 2009.
We are indebted to his legacy & pray he will Rest In Peace . (2/) pic.twitter.com/IBeRZVuO8z
— Nat’l Urban League (@NatUrbanLeague) March 28, 2020
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) March 28, 2020
Tonight, the great Reverend Joseph E. Lowery transitioned from earth to eternity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family.
Thank you, sir.
[: MLK, Lowery, Wyatt Tee Walker] pic.twitter.com/PGHpBJJjNm
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) March 28, 2020
Deeply saddened about the loss of Rev. Joseph Lowery. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone who was touched by his incredible legacy as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Rest in Power, Reverend. https://t.co/AXcURrQYJX
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) March 28, 2020
Rev. Joseph Lowery was a civil rights giant
Marched from Selma to Montgomery
Aide to MLK
Helped coordinate Montgomery Bus Boycott
Founded Georgia People’s Agenda
Delivered benediction at Obama’s inauguration
“Dean of the Civil Rights Movement”#rip #JosephLowery pic.twitter.com/9Kn9Q9iFlw
— Kristen Clarke 866-OUR-VOTE (@KristenClarkeJD) March 28, 2020
Rev. Joseph Lowery was a courageous supporter of justice. He was one of the early supporter of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign & spoke at our ‘79 Conference on returning from Lebanon & meeting w/ Arafat to protest the US “no talk” to the PLO policy. https://t.co/WHjIjE6a8q
— James J. Zogby (@jjz1600) March 28, 2020
Rev. Joseph Lowery was a titan of civil rights. He leaves behind an incredible legacy of fighting for justice that we must carry forward every day. Our thoughts are with the Lowery family. https://t.co/bDCLsV2b40
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 28, 2020
Counted among Lowery’s achievements was being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama.
Lowery had given the benediction at Obama’s 2009 inauguration months earlier, saying, in part, “Now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.”
“And as we leave this mountain top,” he continued, “help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family.”