The voice of the Rev. Marion Curtis Bascom, the Baltimore civil rights leader, confidante of Martin Luther King Jr. and anti-war foe, who stepped down in 1995 after leading Douglas Memorial Community Church for 45 years, has lost none of its powerful resonance or purposefulness.
Bascom, who will turn 82 in March, shows no signs of slowing down as he continues embracing new projects while caring for his ailing wife of 28 years.
"I'm on the board of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, where I like promoting the story of how black and white Americans are inextricably tied together," Bascom said in an interview the other day from his Park Avenue home. "And I enjoy making people more conscious of the role of blacks in our national story." Bascom is also busy raising funds at the museum.
Bascom, who opposes the war in Iraq, recalled his old friend King's opposition to the Vietnam War.
Bascom has joined Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch and the Rev. Andrew Foster Connor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Bolton Hill, in planning a march on Washington.
"We're getting ready to go to Washington to speak gently against the war in Iraq, and right now we're trying to organize ministers and laypeople around the city to come and join us," Bascom said. "We're going to hold a Christian Peace Witness for Iraq March on March 16."