Tributes planned for iconic US civil rights leader

By staff writers
7 Oct 2011

A celebration of the life of an iconic US civil rights leader, the Rev Fred Shuttlesworth, has been planned for the end of the month, following his death on 5 October 2011, following a long illness.

The events have been organised for 22-24 October, and will provide an opportunity for the public to say good-bye, alongside colleagues, family and friends.

The current president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., declared on Friday 7 October: "The Rev Fred Shuttlesworth was a giant of the Civil Rights Movement. His courage, commitment and charisma made him a legendary leader who stood shoulder to shoulder with my uncle, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., as a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a provocative and passionate past president of our esteemed human rights organisation.

"[He] ... engaged in the struggle for human rights long before the world knew of Martin Luther King, Jr. ... He continued to feverishly fight for equality until he fell ill... I humbly salute his contributions as a lion whose voice and vision visibly changed America.

"The Rev Shuttlesworth was an audacious and daring leader who held firm to the quest for justice. His uncompromising pursuit to overturn the hardened soil of racism, bigotry and inequality stands as an example to us all on how to live a committed life."

The first celebration of Shuttlesworth's life begins on Saturday October 22 with a memorial service at Bethel Baptist Church in Collegeville.

Events continue on Sunday 23rd at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, followed by a pastoral remembrance at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

A legacy memorial will be held Monday 24 October at Faith Chapel Christian Center in Birmingham, starting at 10am.

* More on Fred Shuttlesworth from the Baptist Press: http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=36295

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