Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:
US American civil rights activist and preacher Joseph Lowery has died at the age of 98. Lowery stood with Martin Luther King Jr. as founder of the civil rights organization Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the 1950s, which fought against racism in the United States.
As a child in the 1920s in the southern US, Lowery experienced racial inequality up close. In a 2004 interview with The Atlanta Tribune, he recalled an incident in his father’s candy store. A white cop suddenly thrust a rubber stick into his stomach and scolded him for ‘nigger’.
It was the immediate reason to dedicate his life to fighting racial segregation. As a young pastor, he helped organize the boycott of public transport in the city of Montgomery after the African-American Rosa Parks was arrested. She had refused to hand over her seat on the bus to a white passenger.
Lowery also participated in protest demonstrations, such as the well-known march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. This march became particularly famous after the National Guard intervened harshly. Images of injured protesters went around the world.
Rather an activist than a politician
Between 1977 and 1997, Lowery led the SCLC and fought, eg, against apartheid in South Africa and for peace in the Middle East. Later, he was committed to LGBT rights and reform of the United States’ electoral system. He had no political ambitions and was convinced that he could achieve more as an activist. …
Martin Luther King‘s youngest daughter Bernice King delivers a final salute to Lowery on Twitter: