Congressman John Lewis: A Giant in the Capitol, Fighting for Justice and Freedom.
Congressman John Lewis was born in Troy Alabama, the son of sharecroppers. He graduated from Fisk University with a BA degree in Religion and Philosophy.
In 1955, while listening to the spell-bounding sound of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, John Lewis became inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott. So impressed was he with the community organizing that resulted in unity and dignity, it motivated him towards community organizing. In 1964, John Lewis coordinated and organized the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC was committed to voter registration and peaceful protest. This organization reflected the student and young adult participation in the civil rights movement.
Along with community activist Hosea Williams, John Lewis organized 600 peaceful protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selmer, Alabama on March 7, 1965. They intended to march from Selma to Montgomery to highlight the need to reform voter registration to include blacks and all people in Alabama. However, the marchers were attacked by Alabama State Troopers in a brutal confrontation known as “Bloody Sunday.” The horror of this incident was seen on the 6 o’clock news all over America! Moreover, the incident inspired the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
John Lewis moved on to further his voter registration work by serving as Director of the Voter Education Project where he was responsible for entering 4 million men and women as registered voters. This work laid the foundation for John Lewis to enhance his work by running for public office. Lewis became a candidate for a city council seat on the Atlanta City Council.e won the seat in 1981 and became a member of the council while fighting for ethics in government. Moreover, in 1986 when the 5th District Congressional seat became available, Atlanta City Councilman John Lewis ran and won the seat!
Congressman John Lewis served as the Chief Deputy Whip, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee as well as on the subcommittee on Income Security. One of the many proud moments in Congressman John Lewis’s life was when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama for his lifelong commitment to fighting for freedom, justice, and voter registration!
We do not want freedom gradually.
– CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS
Congressman John Lewis was among the last of Civil Rights Leaders from the golden era. We will never forget his sacrifice. The best way to honor Congressman John Lewis is to register others to vote, and most of all, make sure all of those within our influence go out to vote!