Civil Rights Leader Rev. C.T. Vivian Dies At 95

Adrian Ovalle

ATLANTA (AP)– The Rev. C.T. Vivian, a civil liberties veteran who worked along with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and later on led the Southern Christian Management Conference, has actually passed away.

Vivian passed away at home in Atlanta of natural causes Friday early morning, his buddy and business partner Don Rivers validated to The Associated Press. Vivian was 95.

In this Jan. 4, 2012 image, civil liberties activist C.T. Vivian presents in his home in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman).

His civil liberties work extended back more than 6 years, to his first sit-in presentations in the 1940 s in Peoria, Ill. He met King soon after the budding civil rights leader’s success in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Vivian assisted arrange the Liberty Rides to incorporate buses throughout the South and skilled waves of activists in non-violent demonstration. It was Vivian’s vibrant difficulty of a segregationist constable while attempting to sign up Black citizens in Selma, Alabama, that stimulated hundreds, then thousands, to march throughout the Edmund Pettus bridge.

“He has always been one of the people who had the most insight, wisdom, integrity and dedication,” stated Andrew Young, who likewise worked along with King.

President Barack Obama honored Vivian the Governmental Medal of Liberty in2013 The reverend had actually continued to advocate for justice and equality over the last few years. Speaking to trainees in Tennessee 50 years after the Ballot Rights Act was signed into law, he discussed that the civil liberties motion worked since activists utilized techniques to ensure that their messages were enhanced.

“This is what made the movement; our voice was really heard. But it didn’t happen by accident; we made certain it was heard,” Vivian stated.

President Barack Obama granting C.T. Vivian the Governmental Medal of Liberty in the East Space of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin).

Cordy Tindell Vivian was born July 28, 1924, in Howard County, Mo., however transferred to Macomb, Ill., with his mom when he was still a young kid.

As a young faith student at the American Baptist College in Nashville, Tenn., Vivian assisted arrange that city’s first sit-ins. Under King’s management at SCLC, Vivian was national director of affiliates, circumnavigating the South to sign up citizens. In 1965 in Selma, he was met on the Dallas County court house by Constable Jim Clark, who listened as Vivian argued for ballot rights, and after that punched him in the mouth.

Vivian stood back up and kept talking as the video cameras rolled prior to he was sewn up and imprisoned. His mistreatment, seen on national tv, ultimately drew countless protesters, whose decision to march from Selma to Montgomery pushed Congress to pass the Ballot Rights Act later on that year.

Vivian continued to serve in the SCLC after King’s assassination in 1968, and became its interim president in 2012, providing restored trustworthiness and a concrete link to the civil liberties period after the SCLC stagnated for several years due to financial mismanagement and infighting.

“There must always be the understanding of what Martin had in mind for this organization,” Vivian stated in a 2012 interview. “Nonviolent, direct action makes us successful. We learned how to solve social problems without violence. We cannot allow the nation or the world to ever forget that.”

Vivian had a stroke about 2 months ago however appeared to recuperate, Rivers stated. “he just stopped eating,” he stated.

Rivers, 67, stated he was 21 when he met Vivian at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. At that time, he worked as an audio director when Vivian was the dean of the university’s divinity school. The 2 stayed close over the rivers and years stated he managed the business side of Vivian’s work.

“He’s such a nice, gentle, courageous man,” Rivers stated, including that the reverend wasn’t in it for the money however, “he was always giving, giving, giving.”

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