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Reverend Joseph E. Lowery Dies

By Charlotte Robinson, March 29, 2020
In the midst of COVID-19 word that Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference & the Georgia People’s Agenda died at 98 in Atlanta, Georgia. Immediately gay icon Bayard Rustin came into mind who was an influential adviser behind the scenes to civil-rights leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. & Reverend Lowery. Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights stated, “The civil & human rights community has lost a giant. In the fight for civil rights, Rev. Lowery did not leave the battlefield. He never retired his fiery oratory, his rapier wit, or his outsized love for all people. Until the end, he deployed them in service to equality for all. It was the truth. And he was going to tell it. He was an unapologetic advocate who did not stand on ceremony & never allowed the presence of the powerful stop him from dispensing bitter truths. Even as our own movement shied away from full-throated advocacy for LGBTQ rights, Rev. Lowery was out front pushing for everyone’s rights and humanity. It was the truth. And he was going to tell it. As we celebrate Rev. Lowery’s life, we are reminded of our obligation to speak the unvarnished truth: to those in power, within our own movement & on behalf of those left behind. It is our truth & now we need to tell it. He was known for saying ‘There’s good crazy & there’s bad crazy & sometimes you need a little bit of that good crazy to make the world a better place.’ We will miss his ‘good crazy’ in a world so dominated by ‘bad crazy.’ Our thoughts & prayers are with his family & all those who have benefited from his dedication to justice.” Walter Naegle Talks About Bayard Rustin. LISTEN
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