Civil Rights Leaders Joseph and Evelyn Lowery’s Papers Secured by Morehouse College, Shared With Clark Atlanta University


Morehouse College has secured the papers of Joseph and Evelyn Lowery, two of the most instrumental figures in the civil rights and created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. and others, to its library, The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

On Wednesday, the Atlanta HBCU will have the  Lowery family’s personal papers, photographs, documents, writings, speeches, notes, travel diaries and other mementos as donations.

“No discussion about civil rights in America will ever be complete without referencing the contributions of Joseph and Evelyn Lowery,” Morehouse College President David A. Thomas said.

The school which already has the King Papers will treat  the Lowery collection the same: it is archived and curated at the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library and it is be used by scholars, researchers and students on a digitized platform online.

Cheryl Lowery, president and CEO of the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights and the youngest daughter of the couple, sured the financing for the digitized papers from an anonymous donor.

At a competing HBCU, Clark Atlanta University, already has the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights, and this year marks its 20th anniversary. It will also have the papers.


“Clark Atlanta University has always been at the forefront of the civil rights movement and a part of its history,” CAU President George T. French Jr. said. “This historic collection will serve as invaluable resources for our scholars during their matriculation at CAU.”

Cheryl has no problem sharing the papers, saying it makes perfect sense be shared among the different AUC schools and joint library.

“My father operated in the spirit that the world was his parish,” Cheryl said. “His words and works knew no walls and extended beyond the pulpit into the streets and the suites. In that spirit, it is fitting that the Joseph Echols Lowery and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection will be owned by, housed on, and fully accessible to the Atlanta University Center Schools, which they loved and by which they were loved.”