Memorial Service was held Tuesday for Atlanta Student Movement Founder Dr. Lonnie King Jr.

(Photo from the family of Lonnie King Jr.)

Atlanta Student Movement Alumni Gather To Remember Leader Dr. Lonnie King Jr.

King lead sit-ins that brought about change in Atlanta

Maria Boynton
March 19, 2019 - 6:48 pm

"This is a great gathering of many many men and women who have contributed so much", the words of Dr. Raphael Warnock, as the memorial service for Dr. Lonnie C. King was nearing an end. King was a founder of the Atlanta Student Movement. The group staged various sit-ins in the 1960s, calling attention to racial and other injustices in Atlanta. 

Ebenezer Baptist Church is where the Memorial Service for Lonnie King Jr. was held Tuesday.
(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Entercom Atlanta)

According to King's friend of 60 years, Charles Black, "we had our first sit-in at 11 different facilities on the same day at 11 o'clock in the morning." Lunch counters were among them says Black, "train stations, city hall, state capitol,  After they had fought that battle for a year, Black says "we desegregated movie theaters, hospitals, we took over the NAACP." The group went on to form a broadcast coalition, which Black says resulted in the first blacks on air, "Jocelyn Dorsey was one of them and we had Monica Kaufman here because of those efforts."

During the service, Black said, "Lonnie King was my friend and Lonnie King was your friend whether you knew it or not. He was like the guy who wanted to live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man. Lonnie King was a friend to man." The Eulogy was delivered by another Atlanta Student Movement alumnus Dr. Otis Moss Jr.

Immediately following the service, remaining members of the Atlanta Student Movement gathered at the front of the sanctuary for a photo. They surrounded a huge portrait of their founder, King. He died on March 5 at the age of 82. 

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (far l) and Council President Felicia Moore (far r) at Dr. Lonnie C. King's Memorial Service
(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Entercom Atlanta)


On Tuesday, the sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta was scattered with former and present city leaders, current Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell among them.