Rev. C.T. Vivian Death – An early ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. known as Rev. C.T. Vivian has died at the age of 95.
Reverend Vivian died of a natural cause on Friday morning, July 17, 2020.
Rev. C.T. Vivian demise was confirmed by his friend and business partner Don Rivers to the Associated Press.
Alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he organised pivotal campaigns in the civil rights movement and spent decades advocating for justice and equality. He later led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Vivian began staging sit-ins in the 1940s, a dozen years before lunch-counter protests made national news.
He helped organize the Freedom Rides which compelled federal forces to protect buses across the South.
While trying to register Black voters in Selma, Alabama, Vivian boldly challenged a segregationist sheriff
Thousands later marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge seeking voting rights.
His friend Rivers said Vivian had a stroke about two months ago but seemed to recover, then, “he just stopped eating.”
67-year-old Rivers, said he met Vivian when he was 21, at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Back then, he worked as an audio director when Vivian was the dean of the university’s divinity school.
They remained close over the years and Rivers said he handled the business side of Vivian’s work.
According to Rivers, “He’s such a nice, gentle, courageous man.”
He added that the reverend wasn’t in it for the money but, “he was always giving, giving, giving”.
The former United States of America, Barack Obama honored Vivian the presidential medal of freedom in 2013.
Vivian had continued to advocate for justice and equality in recent years. Reverend explained that the civil rights movement was effective because activists used strategies to make sure that their messages were amplified when he was speaking with students in Tennessee 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.
He will be dearly missed.