VIOLA DAVIS, BARACK OBAMA, PORSHA WILLIAMS, NANCY PELOSI & MORE MOURN THE LOSS OF CIVIL RIGHTS ICON, REP. JOHN LEWIS
Saturday, Jul 18, 2020
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
Rep. John Robert Lewis, longtime congressman, civil rights icon and one of the original thirteen Freedom Riders, passed away on Friday after a battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old. Known for his unwavering stance against systemic racism, Lewis fought fearlessly on the frontlines against the Jim Crow segregation laws, helped organize the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous I Have A Dream speech and was one of it’s last surviving speakers.
Between 1960 and 1966, Lewis was arrested more than 40 times and had the infamous mugshots to prove it. With a smirk of pride spread across his face as he got into “good trouble,” he continued to fight for freedom despite being battled, bloodied, bruised and almost losing his life on a bridge in Selma, Alabama during the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march that he led alongside fellow activist, Hosea Williams.
Lewis, son of sharecroppers, would not only imprint an indelible mark on the civil rights movement, but would later transmute his tenacity for freedom in politics. Coined as the “conscience of Congress,” the Democrat served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district since 1986. As a respected and revered rebel against racism, many celebrities such as Viola Davis, Barack Obama, Ava Duvernay, and Nancy Pelosi are paying their respects to the fallen freedom fighter.
What will the world be like without, John Lewis? What an icon. A giant among us. So grateful to have had any time with him. What warmth and wisdom he leaves behind for us. My goodness we will miss him so.