Our children and their children will ask us what did you do? What did you say? For some this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history. pic.twitter.com/39tpmnhJUg
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) December 18, 2019
I have long loved this picture of John Lewis. His eyes, the hint of a smile? The situation is serious & the road will be long, but he sees the big picture. He has the real power here & deep down the police officer taking his mug shot knows it, too. Lewis is fearless & free. pic.twitter.com/UG5JcxcmlN
— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) July 18, 2020
Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did:https://t.co/KbVfYt5CeQ
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 18, 2020
My favorite thing about John Lewis is that at ComicCon, he cosplayed as his younger self, wearing the same coat and backpack he wore at the March on Selma and led kids in a little march around the convention. ?? pic.twitter.com/6T2sgRZehz
— Bridget Todd ???? (@BridgetMarie) July 18, 2020
We are made in the image of God, and then there is John Lewis. He was truly one-of-a-kind, a moral compass who always knew where to point us and which direction to march. To John’s family, friends, staff, and constituents, Jill and I send you our love and prayers.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 18, 2020
.@RepJohnLewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation. Every day of his life was dedicated to bringing freedom and justice to all. pic.twitter.com/xMbfAUhLUv
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 18, 2020
John Lewis, who died Friday at age 80, was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and spoke shortly before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. https://t.co/RI3RySHiCW
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 18, 2020
People paid great heed to John Lewis for much of his life in the civil rights movement. But at the very beginning — when he was just a kid wanting to be a minister someday — his audience didn’t care much for what he had to say.
A son of Alabama sharecroppers, the young Lewis first preached moral righteousness to his family’s chickens. His place in the vanguard of the 1960s campaign for Black equality had its roots in that hardscrabble Alabama farm and all those clucks.
Lewis, who died Friday at age 80, was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and spoke shortly before the group’s leader, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech to a vast sea of people.
If that speech marked a turning point in the civil rights era — or at least the most famous moment — the struggle was far from over. Two more hard years passed before truncheon-wielding state troopers beat Lewis bloody and fractured his skull as he led 600 protesters over Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge…
That bridge became a touchstone in Lewis’ life. He returned there often during his decades in Congress representing the Atlanta area, bringing lawmakers from both parties to see where “Bloody Sunday” went down.
More brutality would loom in his life’s last chapter. He wept watching the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minnesota. “I kept saying to myself: How many more? How many young Black men will be murdered?” he said last month.
Yet he declared, or at least dared to hope: “We’re one people, we’re one family. We all live in the same house, not just the American house but the world house.”…
He was a guiding voice for a young Illinois senator who became the first Black president.
“I told him that I stood on his shoulders,” Obama wrote in a statement marking Lewis’s death. “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made.”…
He was a teenager when he first heard King, then a young minister from Atlanta, preach on the radio. They met after Lewis wrote him seeking support to become the first Black student at his local college. He ultimately attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary and Fisk University instead, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Soon, the young man King nicknamed “the boy from Troy” was organizing sit-ins at whites-only lunch counters and volunteering as a Freedom Rider, enduring beatings and arrests while challenging segregation around the South. Lewis helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to organize this effort, led the group from 1963 to 1966 and kept pursuing civil rights work and voter registration drives for years thereafter…
Lewis refused to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration, saying he didn’t consider him a “legitimate president” because Russians had conspired to get him elected. When Trump later complained about immigrants from “s—hole countries,” Lewis declared, “I think he is a racist … we have to try to stand up and speak up and not try to sweep it under the rug.” …
— adam harris (@AdamHSays) July 19, 2020
Breaking News: John Lewis has died at 80. A towering figure in the historic struggle for racial equality, he carried a mantle of moral authority into Congress. https://t.co/0hSuWHp9et
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 18, 2020
"I say to people today, 'You must be prepared if you believe in something. If you believe in something, you have to go for it. As individuals, we may not live to see the end.'"
– John Lewis
— Frank Amari (@FrankAmari2) July 18, 2020
Brave men of American law enforcement, protecting this country's freedumz against anarchist thugs, pictured here.
Never forget. The uniform doesn't make one right. Causing trouble doesn't make one wrong. https://t.co/8GCRVta7JH
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) July 18, 2020
Don't feel sad for John Lewis. He lived a great life. Better than most of us can hope to live.
Feel sad that he had to leave the country in the state it is in. It's up to us now to rid it of the filth.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) July 18, 2020
A scene from 2018, in which civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis danced along to Pharrell's "Happy" at a rally for Stacey Abrams in Decatur, Georgia.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 18, 2020