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Civil rights organizer C.T. Vivian dies at 95

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C.T. Vivian, a pioneering civil rights organizer and field general for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has died. 

Vivian who died on Friday July 17, 2020 at his home in Atlanta was 95.

While issuing  condolences on his Facebook page, the United States former president, Barack Obama, stated that his country has lost the founder of modern America. 

"Today, we’ve lost a founder of modern America, a pioneer who shrunk the gap between reality and our constitutional ideals of equality and freedom," Obama wrote. 

Obama added that C.T. Vivian was one of Dr. King’s closest advisors, a field general in his movement for civil rights and justice.

He noted that Vivian was always one of the first in the action,"a Freedom Rider, a marcher in Selma, beaten, jailed, almost killed, absorbing blows in hopes that fewer of us would have to." 

While illustrating Vivian's contributions, the former president stated that he waged nonviolent campaigns for integration across the south, and campaigns for economic justice throughout the north, and never let up, knowing that even after the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act that he helped win, the long journey to equality was nowhere near finished.

"I admired him from after before I became a senator and got to know him as a source of wisdom, advice, and strength on my first presidential campaign.

"His friendship, encouraging words, and ever-present smile were a great source of inspiration and comfort, and personally, I will miss him greatly. I’m only here thanks to C.T. Vivian and all the heroes in that Civil Rights Generation. 

"Because of them, the idea of a just, fair, inclusive, and generous America came closer into focus," he added. 

"The trail they blazed gave today’s generation of activists and marchers a roadmap to tag in and finish the journey. 

"And I have to imagine that seeing the largest protest movement in history unfold over his final months gave the Reverend a final dose of hope before his long and well-deserved rest," he concluded.

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