January 20th, 2009
12:57 PM ET
14 years ago

Rev. Joseph Lowery delivers benediction at inaugural ceremony

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a leader during the civil rights movement and former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, delivered the inaugural ceremony's benediction Tuesday on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.

Reverend Joseph Lowery.

"We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day," Lowery, 87, said in delivering the prayer.

He asked that Americans cling to the spirit of fellowship embodied at the inauguration.

"We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right," Lowery said.

Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. ld316

    Once again a black Rev. could not help himself and take a poke at
    the white population in this country. This is racism at it's best.
    I am tired and sick of everything being blamed on the white people
    of this nation. You people need to move on , grow up and stop whining. Everyone is in this together and everyone better wise up and
    be thankful for what we have. Problems in all groups is mostly caused by themselves not someone else. White men elect all people
    in this land in a nation election, women , minorities, are only a small
    part of the electing power. So if you what to piss off white men then go ahead, but just watch out, cause we can make major changes in the ballot box We better be humble!!!!!!

    January 20, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. George Veomett

    I am white and my response to Dr. Lowery's benediction is: Amen, Amen, again I say Amen. What an historic, unbelievably wonderful day in our nation's history.

    January 20, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Louella

    As the mother of biological and adopted children of multiple races I explained the great importance of this election to my children. I sat with them and watched the inaguration and was very moved by what was happening.
    Then Rev. Lowery came on with what could have been a beautiful prayer to begin this presidency. Then came the comment "and when white will embrace what is right". To which my two middle fingers came up. Thank God my children had left the room by then.
    I teach my children to ALWAYS judge other people based on their character, not EVER on the color of their skin. I am sick beyond words of this double standard in this country about racism.
    There is no excuse for this. Before you go telling people that thier ancestors were evil, know that many of our ancestors weren't even in this country at the time of slavery. Just like I tell my children when they come to me and tell on eachother and the defense is "he did it first" . My response is did you like it when it happened to you? Then what would justify you doing it back?
    It is people like Rev. Lowery who bring racism into my home. It is not taught by this white woman.
    P.S. Barack Obama is half white and was raised by white people. Has everyone forgotten that?

    January 20, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. J. Phillips

    So after reading many of these quotes, I am still offended. It should have been a common sense thing to leave the race card alone. When preparing for such a large speech on such a historic day you would think that someone would try their best not to put a comment like that in it. Many people have said to look at the history books and read about slavery. Just remember that things go on that don’t make it into the history books. Just to give a scenario to some of you that we all need to “embrace what is right.” Upon returning to my apartment on election night I entered to cops everywhere in the complex. I rolled down my window and asked what was going on, he told me everything was fine just hurry to your room. When I turned into the complex towards my apartment there were African Americans running around and celebrating. To me the celebration ended when a group of about 5 African Americans turned to me and began to yell “Black Power” at me with a raised fist. I am a twenty year old white female that was verbally attacked because of my skin color. When I tried to leave about 30 minutes later the cops had to escort me out of the complex. So please tell me that the white man needs to embrace what is right. Looks like to me that everyone needs to. A child lives by what they have learned according to their surroundings. The only way to stop racism is to not teach your children racism which means you don’t live by a life of racism. If those kids that yelled at me knew me they would know that I do not mind the skin color of a person.

    January 20, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. gwen easter

    Please let us see the parade and quit talking so much

    January 20, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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