Civil rights leader C.T. Vivian remembered as remarkable man of courage

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 4:37 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Family members and friends have said their final goodbyes to a civil rights icon.

The funeral service for the Rev. C.T. Vivian was held Thursday at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta after he passed away a week ago on the same day as another civil rights icon, Atlanta Congressman John Lewis.

The 95-year old Vivian was known and celebrated for his pivotal work during the civil rights movement, when he worked alongside the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2013, Vivian was awarded the Medal of Freedom by then-President Barack Obama.

Public figures from politicians to TV stars sent their own video remembrances to Thursday’s service:

Oprah Winfrey: “I remember back in the ’90s doing a series of racial seminars with Rev Vivian on the Oprah show, what an impact he made on that audience of mostly white women at the time. … We were always learning more about our country, about ourselves, what it means to stand for what is right. He was a giant for justice.”

Joseph Biden: “C.T. was truly a remarkable man — a man whose physical courage was exceeded only by his moral courage, whose capacity for love overwhelmed incredible hatreds, whose faith and the power of nonviolence helped forever change our nation.”

Andrew Young: “He didn’t want attention. He didn’t want money. He only wanted to do God’s will and bring out the best in these United States of America and its people regardless of their race, creed, color or national origin.”

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