Chris Uggen's Blog: <i>hey leader!</i> reverend james orange

Saturday, February 23, 2008

hey leader! reverend james orange

reverend james orange (shown, at right) passed away last week.

the obits tell at least part of his story. according to jesse jackson, there might have been no march from selma to montgomery without reverend orange. according to joseph lowery, the southern christian leadership conference founder, "without james orange, there would have been no movement across the deep south."

the atlanta constitution noted that reverend orange

held to the philosophy of nonviolence, reflecting peace with dignity. To that end, he recalled, “I’d take a hit. I’d take a lick, a whupping—without retaliating. But I never, not once, went limp in a demonstration. I would walk to the truck, or they’d beat me to the truck, but I still wouldn’t go limp. I never would.”

he may not be an unsung hero of the civil rights movement, but reverend orange was the kind of hero who was far more concerned with inspiring others than with promoting himself or his own courageous accomplishments. "hey, leader!" he'd call to new friends and old, as "both greeting and rallying cry," ostensibly to "imbue a sense of purpose and responsibility into every person he met."

the obits rightly focus on reverend orange's work leading up to the voting rights act of 1965 but he continued to fight injustice to the present. when our paths crossed in atlanta a few years ago, he struck me as a big strong guy -- more like a just-retired defensive tackle than a distinguished reverend in his sixties. though his warm manner put everyone at ease, i felt like a total fraud when i heard that greeting.


At 1:02 PM, Blogger Kenneth J"Kenny"Holmes Sr said...

Rev James E"Shack Daddy,Leader Orange
He never got reconized for all his work was rich with wealth nor fame but was in God Army for equal right that need too be said but it's a lot too say about Leader for man too go too jail over 100 time and for man too keep his family out of the spot light while he was doing what was right for mankind he work on the side of the best in the 60's and kept Martin Dream live on he was the one that got everything started when it came too civil right marches and everybody don't know that but the one's that was there Ralph,Hosea,Martin ,Andrew and other's who was there he help my in-laws and other inthe stae of Mississppi for civil right so if anyone want too know about Leader just ask or do your research he is history and one of black pioneers when it comes too black history
now living in Omaha,Ne after Hurricane Katrina
Aunt Cleo and Kids Thanks for everything that the family did for us after Katrina



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