Civil rights activist Lynda Lowery streamed live from Selma, Ala. last week to speak about unsung heroines in the movement aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against black Americans.
The Still I Rise: Legacies of Women in the Civil Rights Movement program was presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Association at Seton Hall University.
It’s been fifty years since Lowery first joined a group of teenage radicals in her hometown of Selma. Today, she is remembered as the youngest activist in the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.
Nicknamed "Gofer," Lowery was the youngest of the group and paid her dues by having to fetch sodas and snacks. But she was also responsible for calling the parents of those teenagers who were jailed for their involvement in non-violence movements.
In 1963, her role as "Gofer" changed to that of civil rights activist at the age of 13 after she heard Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in town about the civil rights movement.
Though Lowery knew only of non-violence petitions, she says Dr. King was inspiring.
"His voice was like a mother soothing the cuts after you've scraped your knee. He made you feel very comfortable," she explains.
For the next two years, Lowery was trained and taught the ideologies of the civil rights movement. Between January 1 and March 7, 1965, Lowery was jailed a total of nine times.