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A Colorful Benediction

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, another contemporary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., offered the inaugural benediction.

He began with the third verse from Lift Every Voice And Sing (LEVAS):

 God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
                      Thou who hast brought us thus on the way;
                      Thou who hast by thy might led us into the light,
                      Keep us forever in the path we pray.

                      Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee;
                      Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee,
                      Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
                      True to our God, true to our native land.

As he closed, Rev. Dr. Lowery used an old playground chant which he updated for this time, this place, this occasion, and our nation and the world where hope abides and grows:

"When black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right, ... "

"Let all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Amen. Amen."