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About Rev. Dr. James Orange

Rev. Dr. James Edward OrangeThe Man…The Activist...The Leader

We decided to give you a glimpse of the man that we call husband, dad, grandfather, brother, uncle…Leader.He began his career as an activist after attending a mass meeting with the Rev. James Bevel, in his native, Birmingham, Alabama. He became known for his singing and how he was able to inspire the young people of Birmingham to participate in the movement for social justice. As a result, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hired him as the first field staffer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

He organized and assisted in organizing marches and demonstrations throughout the South. Some of his most notable marches and demonstrations include: The March on Washington (1963); His near lynching which led to the prelude of “Bloody Sunday” and later the Voter’s Right Act of 1965; Resurrection City, and Poor People’s Campaign(1968).

He was at the bottom of the stairs at the Lorraine Motel with Rev. Andrew Young when the shots of April 4, 1968 rang out.

His commitment to the movement and the philosophy of Dr. King allowed him to take those same principles with him when he began to work for Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1977. He found that the Labor Movement allowed him to use the philosophy of the Civil Rights Movement. He then went on to work with UNITE and later retired from AFL-CIO. After retiring he was able to pursue his causes and interests at leisure while living in Oakland City.When Mrs. Coretta Scott King founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change and began the celebration to commemorate Dr. King’s birthday, Dad was the person to organize the Commemorative March and also provided marshalling for all of the events. The King Week Celebrations started long before the National Holiday; and so was the birth of The March Committee.

Further, since his passion has always been voting, Dad always had his family and friends involved in various political campaigns from Atlanta to South Africa. One such campaign was the 1981 Atlanta mayor’s race when Andrew Young was elected Mayor. Dad recruited and mobilized hundreds of students from the University Center and other colleges throughout the metro area the “Blue Crew” was born.

Both the Blue Crew and the March Committee have given birth to many Chiefs of Police and Fire Department personnel, City Councilmembers, Mayors, Preachers, reformed gang bangers, activists, organizers and just better people along the way.

While on his trip to South Africa he met and became fast friends with a South African activist, S’bu Ndebele. This relationship led to introducing the Africa African American Renaissance Festival to The March Committee. We don’t have the printing capabilities to list the various other organizations that Dad is affiliated with; however the two (2) that were dear to his heart are: S.C.L.C/W. O. M. E. N, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia and the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma Alabama.

As you read this, it is important to know that our father was a family man. In 1974 our family proudly bought our first home on Westmont Road in the Oakland City neighborhood of Southwest Atlanta. Our family still resides there and continues to keep his legacy of alive even after his sudden death in 2008. How do we want Dad to be remembered? Remember Dad by making it your civic priority to go out and vote and practicing non-violence. Dad was a drum major for Dr. Kings Six (6) Principles of Nonviolence. Remember Dad through his Humor and giant Heart. Remember our Dad as THE LEADER he was to all of us.

WBAB Cares For Long Island

It’s your home, and ours too!  

That’s why WBAB  supports more local community events and fundraisers and any other station on Long Island. 

Here’s how to get our support for your event: 

Email: CoxCaresLI@coxinc.com (no calls, please) 

Requests should be sent at least 3 weeks prior to the event date.  Please attach a flyer or letter with as much detail as possible. 

  • Organization
  • Date/Time
  • Location
  • Purpose of Fundraiser
  • Specific need or request 

Don’t forget your contact info:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Daytime Phone Number 

We will get back to you within 3-5 business days to let you know what we can do to support. Thank you for making us a part of your community event! 

Professor Alex Bradford -- Black History Month 2012

He was a multi-talented gospel composer, singer, arranger, and choir director who was a great influence on artists like Little Richard, Bob Marley, and Ray Charles and helped bring about the modern mass choir movement to gospel. Born in Bessemer, Professor Alex Bradford attended the Snow Hill Institute in Snow Hill, Alabama, where he acquired the title “Professor” while teaching as a student.

Dr. Bradford moved to Chicago in 1947 where he worked briefly with Roberta Martin and toured with Mahalia Jackson, then struck out on his own with his own group, “The Bradford Singers, followed by another group, The Bradford Specials. He recorded his first hit record “Too Close to Heaven” in 1954 which sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.

In 1961 Bradford joined the cast in "Black Nativity", based on the writings of Langston Hughes. He appeared in Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, for which he won the Obie award, in 1972. He died in 1978 as the musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God was in production. Bradford's music continues to provide a compelling message with much of his music available for digital download on iTunes.

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