It was cold and rainy in Selma the morning of Feb. 15, 1965, as C.T. Vivian rose early and carefully selected his wardrobe for the day: a dark suit and collared shirt.
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HOW WE GOT THE STORY
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s bright light in Atlanta had the unintended consequence of blinding history to the substantial contributions of many others who played pivotal roles in the civil rights movement. Last month, President Obama recognized C.T. Vivian, one of Dr. King’s lieutenants, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, AJC reporter Ernie Suggs recounts Vivian’s historic contribution to American history. Drawing on a wealth of sources, Suggs interviewed surviving luminaries of the movement such as John Lewis and Andrew Young, both former Medal of Freedom winners, and spent hours with Vivian in his Atlanta home. He also interviewed family members and historians, and traveled to Washington last month to observe Vivian receive the Medal of Freedom. He obtained historical footage of Vivian in action and was given access to oral interviews that Vivian did with The Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Suggs’ gripping, insightful reporting is the quality journalism AJC readers expect on such an important figure in American history.
Assistant Managing Editor