Rev. C.T. Vivian


As remembered by Bruce Hartford
July 17, 2020

I've always been a great admirer of C.T. Of his courage, his dedication, and his oratory.

As a member of the SCLC field staff I encountered and worked with him in Selma AL and Grenada MS. SCLC was a hierarchical organization and C.T. was a member of the Executive Staff, ranking just below Dr. King. As someone at the very bottom of the SCLC staff ranks, I never had the opportunity to socialize with him, or get to know him better. But it was quite obvious to me that of all the Executive Staff he and Dorothy Cotton were the two who were closest in both spirit and age to young field workers like me.

One point about SCLC that rarely seems to be mentioned is that I can think of no other organization in modern American history that had among its leadership such a collection of powerful and inspiring orators — Dr. King himself (of course), and also Jim Bevel ("Bevels" as he was known), Hosea Williams — and C.T. Vivian. C.T. could hold his own with them all. As he proved time and again, including the time he confronted the arch-racist Sheriff Jim Clark on the courthouse steps in Selma.

C.T. Vivian ¡Presente!

© Copyright
(Labor donated)