Unity Is Here!

Rev. Joseph Lowery

 The day of the inauguration was emotionally moving.  We saw nearly 2 million people descend on the Capitol with children in tow and history making agendas in their hearts.  Aretha sang, Elizabeth told a poem, and a quartet performed “A Golden Age of Discovery.” But if we’re bringing up our favorite moments then there wasn’t a more moving and authentic speech than the one made by Joseph Lowery, Martin Luther King’s right hand that helped him establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

His words of unity and purpose rang through my heart like my grandfather’s old stories.  Everything about his tone, his use of call and response suddenly had, for me, stamped the day as an African American inauguration.  Nothing that occurred before his speech defined it as such.  But once he began to talk and take us to church and conclude with my grandmother’s favorite saying, that black can get back and, to shorten it, white embraces all that is right, then I was home.  I wonder how Barack felt.  He smiled really big and was transported back through those streets of Chicago that brought him to the White House I bet.

Just in case.  Enjoy:

Joseph Lowery Delivers the Benediction On Inauguration day January 20, 2009

2 thoughts on “Unity Is Here!”

  1. You nailed it here! I totally agree with you.

    This was surely a DEFINING moment for the ceremony. I’ve had the opportunity to hear Rev. Lowery preach a few times and actually interviewed him as well. Even in his later years, he’s as sharp and on point as ever. It was a true pleasure to see him close out this momentous occasion.

    Thanks for sharing JB.

  2. I loved his speech. It was woesome and pure to me. Very refreshing. I was born the same year Matin Luther King died and I missed that era of the civil rights movement, but I did receive shock waves of the aftermath. I’m glad he read that poem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *