Dorothy and me.
Dorothy and King.
I recently had an experience I thought I would never have in my lifetime.
This past October I was introduced to an elderly African American woman in our congregation named Dorothy Cotton.
Dorothy usually sits in the row behind my family near the front on Sunday mornings. She is brought to the church by a young family that lives near her.
I soon discovered that Dorothy Cotton was the highest serving female in the Southern Christian Leadership Convention - the sole female permitted into Martin Luther King Jr's inner circle. She was involved in many tactical decisions at the highest level of the civil right movement. Her focus was on education.
If you google here name, pictures come up of her with King at various events.
This past Martin Luther King Day I was invited to have lunch with Dorothy, along with my colleague, Pastor Eric Hause. The venue for our lunch was quite intersting: a local soup kitchen. We walked in. Our newer clothing clashed loudly with many of our fellow diners. After getting our food, we sat with Dorothy and a few of the staff in the kitchen.
Dorothy told us a variety of stories about Martin. The context of important decisions that King made, including the decision to march at Selma. On my phone I kept finding pictures of her with King. She would then yell with delight and then explain what was happening in the picture.
It was an unforgettable time sitting with this amazing woman who helped lead this nation out of darkness and into light.