King lieutenant dies in Atlanta

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ATLANTA --- One of the lieutenants of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who worked alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement has died.

The Rev. James E. Orange of Birmingham, Ala., died on Saturday at Crawford Long Hospital. He was 65.

"Today, Reverend Orange's courageous spirit and commitment to justice lives on in all of us who believe that change is possible," said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. "Michelle and I send our deepest sympathies to his wife and family. His legacy will never be forgotten.

"As a trailblazer of the Civil Rights Movement, Reverend Orange was instrumental in mobilizing thousands of young people to participate in voter registration drives and marches in Alabama and throughout the South," Mr. Obama added.

"We are all weaker today because James Orange is no longer with us," said Edward Dubose, the president of the Georgia NAACP. "We have lost a great soldier in the struggle for freedom and equality."

The Rev. Orange's daughter, Jamida Orange, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was admitted to the hospital for gallbladder surgery. She said he had complications and was scheduled for follow-up tests Saturday when he died.

"I'm stunned," Ms. Orange said. "Not only did I lose my parent, but I lost an actual role model, and a lot of the people in the country lost a role model."

The Rev. Orange marched in his hometown in 1963 alongside Dr. King and the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy. He lived in southwest Atlanta for more than four decades.

As project coordinator with the SCLC from 1965 to 1970, the Rev. Orange later became a regional coordinator with the AFL-CIO in Atlanta, where he incorporated Dr. King's nonviolence philosophy and promoted unity between national labor leaders and Dr. King's "beloved community." He retired in 2005.

Since 1995, the Rev. Orange served as the general coordinator of the Martin Luther King Jr. March Committee-Africa/African-American Renaissance Committee. The organization coordinates the country's most watched and heavily attended events of the King national holiday. It also promoted trade between Atlanta and the U.S. with South Africa.

The Rev. Orange is survived by his wife, Cleo; five children and two grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced Sunday.

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Augusta resident
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Augusta resident 02/18/08 - 02:50 am
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Obama should have left it at

Obama should have left it at "Michelle and I send our deepest sympathies to his wife and family. His legacy will never be forgotten." and left out the campaign speech part.

Sarge
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Sarge 02/18/08 - 05:54 am
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Augusta resident..What's

Augusta resident..What's wrong with Obama enlighten people to the fact that Rev. Orange was a major factor for getting young folks involved with voting during the civil rights struggle. If he would not have mention it, how many of us would have known that about Rev. Orange??

Augusta resident
1368
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Augusta resident 02/18/08 - 06:25 am
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All he says on his campaign

All he says on his campaign is "CHANGE". I know campain funds are tight and all but why can't show some respect and let it go for a few minutes.

WW1949
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WW1949 02/18/08 - 10:01 am
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What is wrong with citeing

What is wrong with citeing what the man did. I am not an Obama fan because I think he has socialist ideas but I see nothing wrong in what he said.

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