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Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery

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Information about Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery

Profile image of Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader
Minister
Nonprofit Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Gold, Green, Red
Favorite Food:
Chicken, Rice, Gravy, Collard Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
Let's turn to each other and not on each other.

Birthplace

Born:
10/6/1921
Birth Location:
Huntsville, Alabama

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader
Minister
Nonprofit Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Gold, Green, Red
Favorite Food:
Chicken, Rice, Gravy, Collard Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
Let's turn to each other and not on each other.

Birthplace

Born:
10/6/1921
Birth Location:
Huntsville
See how Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Outspoken civil rights activist the Reverend Joseph Lowery was born on October 6, 1921, in Huntsville, Alabama. Considered the dean of the Civil Rights Movement, Lowery began his education in Huntsville, spending his middle school years in Chicago before returning to Huntsville to complete high school. From there, Lowery attended Knoxville College, Payne College and Theological Seminary, and the Chicago Ecumenical Institute. Lowery earned his doctorate of divinity as well.

Lowery began his work with civil rights in the early 1950s in Mobile, Alabama, where he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association, an organization devoted to the desegregation of buses and public places. During this time, the state of Alabama sued Lowery, along with several other prominent ministers, on charges of libel, seizing his property. The Supreme Court sided with the ministers, and Lowery's seized property was returned. In 1957, Lowery and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Lowery was named vice president. H Lowery led the famous 1965 Selma to Montgomery March - the Bloody Sunday march - at the time that George Wallace was governor of Alabama.

Lowery was co-founder and former president of the Black Leadership Forum, a consortium of black advocacy groups. The Forum began protesting apartheid in South Africa in the mid-1970s, and continued their activities in that region until the election of Nelson Mandela. In 1979, during a rash of disappearances of Atlanta's African American youth, Lowery provided a calm voice to a frightened community. In 1990, Lowery was invited by the FBI to meet with director William Sessions to conduct a seminar on African Americans and the image of the FBI.

After serving his community for more than forty-five years, Lowery retired from the pulpit in 1997. Lowery also retired in 1998 from the SCLC as president and CEO. Despite his retirement, Lowery still remaind active; he worked to encourage African Americans to vote, and even recorded a rap with artist NATE the Great to help spread this message.

Lowery received numerous awards, including an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Martin Luther King Center Peace Award. Essence twice named Lowery as one of the Fifteen Greatest Black Preachers. Lowery's wife, Evelyn Gibson Lowery, was also an activist in her own right.

See how Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Lowery interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Lowery's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Lowery discusses his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Lowery describes his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Lowery remembers his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Lowery remembers his father's stories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Lowery describes his childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Lowery describes his childhood environs, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Lowery shares memories from his school life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Lowery discusses his early occupational options
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Lowery recalls his years at Knoxville College, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Lowery recalls being called to the ministry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Lowery discusses his college transfer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Lowery recalls his employment pursuits following college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Lowery describes his Civil Rights efforts in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Lowery recalls the beginnings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Lowery recalls the New York Times Company v. Sullivan Supreme Court ruling of 1964
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Lowery discusses his Civil Rights participation in Birmingham, Alabama, early 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Lowery remembers the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march, 1965
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Lowery discusses past and present issues regarding voters' rights
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Lowery reflects on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Lowery recalls a clash with the Ku Klux Klan at a 1979 protest march, Decatur, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Lowery describes his collaboration with the FBI
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Lowery describes boycotts against South African companies during the apartheid era, late 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Lowery offers a pessimistic view on current domestic and international events
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Lowery shares political reflections on the 2000 and upcoming 2004 election cycle
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Lowery discusses the role of social justice in organized religion
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Lowery contrasts the lives of Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Lowery compares and contrasts religion and spirituality
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Lowery considers his legacy