VOL. 131 | NO. 85 | Thursday, April 28, 2016
Reaction to the Death of Civil Rights Leader Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles
Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles died Tuesday in Memphis after a long illness. Here's a roundup of reaction from local leaders, Kyles' associates and the National Civil Rights Museum...
Rev. Jesse Jackson:
“The country has lost a great freedom fighter with the passing … of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles, my dear old friend and brother in the struggle for racial, social and economic justice. … Though he is asleep tonight, Rev. Kyles’ spirit, his quest for justice and peace will live on in our hearts.”
National Civil Rights Museum board and staff:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles. Our deepest condolences to the Kyles family.
“Rev. Kyles was a beloved member of the National Civil Rights Museum family and a lifelong member of the National Civil Rights Museum board of directors. As a lasting tribute, he will be named board member emeritus.
“In death, as in life, Rev. Kyles' highly acclaimed story as the last “witness" to Dr. King’s final hours will remain in the The Mountaintop Theatre at the museum as a permanent exhibit. We will always remember him saying, “You can kill the dreamer, but you can not kill the dream.”
“Rev. Kyles remained on the frontline for justice and equality, a tremendous civil rights activist. He was a man of great courage, compassion and faith.
“Rest dear friend until we meet again.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen:
“Rev. Kyles was a legendary clergyman and civil rights advocate. I extend my sympathies to his devoted wife and wonderful children.”
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland:
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles, truly a civil rights icon. I was fortunate to get to know him and visit his church and will always treasure his commitment to Memphis and to the cause of civil rights.”
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker:
“Rev. Kyles was a civil rights icon and important member of the Memphis community. Sad to learn of his passing.”
Former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr.:
“Rev. Billy Kyles a friend, mentor and unparalleled giant in faith and action. He will be missed.”
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell:
“Reverend Kyles was a spiritual giant in our community. He devoted his life to civil rights for the betterment of people everywhere.
“Although known around the world, he was a humble servant by his genuine concern and care for people. All of us at the Shelby County Mayor's Office are keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers.”