Lowery Public Memorial In Fall. What’s Next For Civil Rights Movement?

The AJC reports: the family of the late Rev. Joseph Lowery will hold a funeral this week, with a public service that could coincide with his Oct. 6 birthday.

Cheryl Lowery, the executive director of the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute told the paper:

We know that our country and our world is going to get through these trying times. And when we do, we will honor Dr. Lowery and his legacy together as a community in a manner that he deserves and as he pretty much planned.

As Lowery and the rest of the leaders of the civil rights movement lose the race with Father Time, it’s worth remembering their work isn’t done.

Certainly America has progressed in 60 years but we still don’t have true racial equality. Nor were Dr. King’s goals achieved. He was in Memphis taking part in a union strike as part of the Poor People’s Campaign. Surely were he alive today, the scourges of rural opiate addiction and economic abandonment would be a focus for King. The struggles of poor white folks and African-Americans were one in the same then and they are now.

The egregious sins King, Lowery, Congressman Lewis and others fought to atone for were committed not that long ago, with a shrinking number of perpetrators still alive. Ideas aren’t eradicated with the passing of laws or time.

So when the men and women who strove for equality are gone, how do we keep moving forward? What’s the next vanguard? For the same reason Holocaust survivors have to remind us to never forget that atrocity, we must never forget our own.

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