Hundreds bid farewell to legend and activist - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Hundreds bid farewell to legend and activist

Hundreds said goodbye to a photographic legend and activist. Ernest Withers was laid to rest during a very emotional funeral at Pentecostal Temple Church downtown.

With the beat of african drums sounding throughout the church, Ernest Withers family and friends paid their last respects.

"And I have no problem talking about my grandfather, and I know he hears me but I wish he was here. My grandfather was love, he had the biggest heart. He loved my grandmother," said Aisha Withers.

Earnest Withers funeral became a celebration of his faith and life. Many of the people he touched turned out to honor him.

"We thank God for what he shared with all of us. And while his physical presence will no longer be with us, his great works, his indelible imprint that he has made over all America will remain with us," said Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

John Elkinton said, "I loved Ernest Withers. He was my dear friend 21 years."

Old friends, new friends, and longtime admirers, all turned out to honor a man who lived his life through his camera.

"We thank you for the life and lense of Ernest Withers that opened our eyes," said Rev. O. C. Collins.

And as the Withers casket closed for the last time, mourners acknowledged his contributions from Birmingham to Beale Street and a legacy that will live forever.

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