An Atlanta civil rights icon will play a very visible role in the historic and star-studded inauguration of Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president.
A congressional committee announced late Wednesday that the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a stalwart of the civil rights movement and co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, will deliver the benediction.
Lowery, retired pastor of Atlanta’s Cascade United Methodist Church, said Obama called him a few weeks ago and said he wanted him to take part in the Jan. 20 ceremony but hadn’t decided exactly what role he would play. Obama said he’d get back to Lowery.
“I guess this is his way of getting back to me,” Lowery said Wednesday afternoon as he fielded dozens of reporters’ calls at his southwest Atlanta home. [...]
The civil rights leader will join other celebrities of the entertainment and religious communities [...]