Chris Walton, of the UU World, posted this on Facebook to go along with his photo:
Deep respect for the Rev. Clark Olsen, who died this weekend. I photographed him with the Rev. Orloff Miller in March 2015 at a commemoration of the traumatic events in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965, when they survived the assault that mortally injured their friend, the Rev. James Reeb. My first assignment on the UU World staff, in 2000-2001, was to write about Unitarian Universalist support for the black voting rights movement, which drew Miller, Olsen, and Reeb to Selma after Bloody Sunday, and that story and the people involved in it have been close to my heart ever since. Being with them at the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma march, and with Reeb’s family, the family of Jimmy Lee Jackson (whose death had inspired the march from Selma to Montgomery), and the family of Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan after the conclusion of the march, is a memory I will always cherish.
After moving to Germany, the Rev. Orloff Miller was minister emeritus of EUU for many years. During those years, quite a few of us heard Orloff describe the events of that night. He died in July 2015, just a few months after he had traveled from Germany to attend the fiftieth anniversary events in Selma.
For those who were not around to hear Orloff tell the story, Clark Olsen’s obituary from the New York Times is a good introduction:
Clark B. Olsen, Witness to a Civil Rights Killing, Dies at 85
The Rev. Clark B. Olsen, who responded to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for clergy members to come to Selma, Ala., in March 1965 and ended up as a witness to one of the most galvanizing murders of the civil rights era, died on Jan. 21 — Martin Luther King Day — at his home in Asheville, N.C. He was 85.
Mr. Olsen, who was white, had traveled to Selma to show support for voting rights and other causes two days after marchers there had been attacked in the clash known as Bloody Sunday. He was walking with two other white Unitarian ministers, Orloff W. Miller and James J. Reeb, when they were set upon by white thugs.