“We’ve got to move all Americans towards that place where we can lay down the burden of race and create one America, one multiracial democratic society.”
–Congressman John Lewis, 2013 interview with East County Magazine in San Diego. Hear the full interview.
By Miriam Raftery
Photo, left: President Barack Obama presented Medal of Freedom to John Lewis in 2011.
July 18, 2020 (San Diego) – Congressman John Lewis, famed civil rights leader, has died of pancreatic cancer at age 80. The son of sharecroppers, Lewis drew inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to become a courageous champion in the civil rights movement for more than 60 years.
Calling him the “conscience of the Congress” where he served as a representative from Georgia for over 40 years, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced his death yesterday and ordered the flag over our nation’s capitol flown at half-mast.
Lewis denounced violence and was arrested more than 40 times for peaceful protests against injustice. In 1965, TV coverage of a trooper fracturing his skull with a bully club in what became known as Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama outraged the nation, leading to swift passage of the Voting Rights Act signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.