Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery: The Fight for Racial Equality

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Through his first book Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land (Abingdon Press, February 2011), Civil Rights Activist Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery takes readers down Freedom Road, as he walked it – inspiring them to see that one person can make a difference and that social justice can be achieved. While well-known for many involvements with the American Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Lowery is known most recently for delivering the benediction at President Obama's inauguration and for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery has committed his life to the fight for racial equality, serving as a catalyst for great change in our nation. As an activist in the struggle for civil rights, Lowery endured cruel mistreatment and abuse, but he says he never let hatred creep into his thoughts. Instead he looked to his faith to carry him through, because, he says, he could not have made it through without his moral and religious roots.

On January 20, 2009, Dr. Lowery experienced fulfillment of his life’s work, as he delivered the closing benediction at the inauguration of the first black U.S. president, which he deems the nation’s response to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. And in August 2009, President Obama awarded Dr. Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Lowery’s life as an activist began in college when he joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In the 1950s he lead efforts for the desegregation of buses and other public accommodations in Alabama, and in 1957, he joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where he became one of King’s most trusted advisors and later served as president from 1978-1998. For his leadership of the SCLC, the NAACP named Dr. Lowery the “dean” of the civil rights movement.

At age 89, Dr. Lowery has written his first book, telling a story that no one else has – telling it like it is. In Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land (Abingdon Press, February 2011), Dr. Lowery celebrates many milestones of civil rights movement, in which he played a significant role. The book also honors many great figures of the movement, such as MLK, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, and tackles controversial issues, such as racial inequality, the KKK, the death penalty and more. Included:

  • The Joy of a New Beginning: The Inaugural Benediction
  • What a Family Reunion!: Coretta Scott King Funeral Message
  • Rosa Parks Eulogy
  • I Remember Martin
  • The Essence and Quintessence of African Manhood: Nelson Mandela
  • Good Crazy: Sermon at the Commemoration of Bloody Sunday
  • The Death Penalty: Matter of Race and Place; Inequity and Iniquity

Through his book, Dr. Lowery takes readers down Freedom Road, as he walked it – inspiring them to see that one person can make a difference and that social justice can be achieved.

About Abingdon Press
Abingdon Press is the publishing imprint for The United Methodist Publishing House. Abingdon Press has a distinguished record in religious publishing for a broad ecumenical audience and specializes in products for church leaders, as well as scholars and students engaged in theological education and the practice of ministry. Abingdon Press offers a wide array of quality academic, professional, reference, fiction and devotional titles published each year.

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Desiree Davis