Longtime Selma rights activist to be honored

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Longtime civil rights activist

Rev. E. Randel Osburn is the recipient of this year’s Living Legend membership award banquet.

The annual event seeks to honor the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement. This year’s banquet will be Saturday at the 12th Stone Dinner Theatre, 1408 Water Ave.

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Osburn, 58, of Atlanta, serves as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Foundation and is a long-time civil and human rights activist who grew up in Perry County.

Among the guests will be Mrs. Coretta Scott King, SCLC President Martin Luther King III, and the Rev. James Orange.

Osburn is a 38-year veteran of the SCLC. He was the youngest minister in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s original field staff. He was also a leader in the sit-in movement and has been jailed 75 times during his career.

Burke noted that Osburn’s first arrest was in Marion, for selling copies of Jet magazine which he hid in his peanut cart.

Osburn’s work continued long after the 1960s. He made major contributions to HUD’s Section 8 program as well as the Upward Bound (college) program. In addition, he serves on numerous boards around the nation, including the board of the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute.

The Living Legend Membership Banquet, which has been held every year but one since the opening of the museum in 1993, serves two purposes: to boost membership and to honor a major figure in the civil rights movement.

Burke said that Osburn may not be as well known as some others, but that he has been a critical

&uot;support system&uot; for SCLC and serves as a special advisor to Martin Luther King III.

Previous recipients have included F.D. Reese, James Orange, Dick Gregory, C.T. Vivian, Theresa Burroughs and John Hulett.

Tickets to the banquet are $30, $15 for students and $10 for renewed museum members, and are available at the museum, located at 1012 Water Ave.

For information contact Tarana Burke at 418-0800.