A crowd gathered at Shorter Community AME church in Skyland on Tuesday to pay their respects to Lauren Watson, Denver’s former Black Panther Party leader.
At the gathering of about 60, religious leaders and civil rights activists remembered Watson, who they said contributed significantly to racial justice during his work in the 1960s and 1970s. Some commited to carrying his legacy forward.
Lisa Calerón, a local activist who works for Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, said Watson inspired a generation of warriors. Pastor Terrence Hughes said the community should keep Watson alive by telling his stories.
Watson lay in an an open casket viewing before the service began. The service consisted of poetry and speeches interspersed with songs by James Brown, War and Al Green.