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Orlando Civil Rights Leader Reflects On Progress

Reverend Nelson Pinder. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Reverend Nelson Pinder. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Orlando Episcopal priest Reverend Nelson Pinder says the country still has work to do in advancing the cause of equality and justice.

Father Pinder was a leader in the civil rights movement in Central Florida.

Pinder said the reality of segregation hit him when he arrived in Orlando in the late ’50s- and was unable to get a cab into town.

He worked through the church and with community leaders and joined sit-ins and demonstrations to peacefully advance the cause of Black Orlando residents. He also joined the March on Washington in 1963.

Pinder said improving access to education was also key in improving civil rights.

“My great grandchild, my grandchildren, my children, are having a better opportunity than I had,” said Pinder.

“I grew up in an America that was two Americas: one Black, one White. And it’s still two Americas, but opportunities are different.”

And while Father Pinder said he’s pleased young Black Americans now have better opportunities for success, he also worries about politicians today who stoke fear and division.

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie