“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
Martin Luther King
January 10, 1957
The Founding Date Of The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Today, I look back 62 years to the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I will read an article by F. Erik Brooks, Georgia Southern University about the history of this fabled organization. In addition, I will read a statement of Rev. Fred Shuttleworth delivered April 14, 1963, during the height of mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, we see these humongous black churches with black peachers living in multi-million dollar homes being celebrated for worth not religious or community uplift commitment. However, in 1957, black preachers moved by faith to speak directly to the agents of racial hatred. These religious leaders put life and limb on the line to gather community strength to face the onslaught of oppression and bigotry. These black leaders sole purpose was to raise a black consciousness to many who had lost hope of gaining citizenship rights in this nation, America a supposed land of freedom and opportunity, except if you were black. Had it not been for the SCLC's determination, passion, and sacrifice, the rights achieved in the 1960s would've not been doable.
Remembering names like King, Abernathy, Shuttleworth, Young, Baker, Cotton, Gaston, Steele, Jemison, Parks, Rustin, Levison, and all the others who stood up against tyranny and gave hope a chance for people of color in this country.