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Remembering Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Leader And 'The Conscience Of Congress'

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they wait to enter as a group to attend the memorial services for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they wait to enter as a group to attend the memorial services for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

We look back on the life of John Lewis, the civil rights icon and congressman who dedicated himself to the fight for racial equality. From his emergence on the national stage during the March on Washington in 1963 to his decades as a symbol of moral authority on Capitol Hill, we remember the man and his legacy of public service.

Guests

Rep. James Clyburn, Democrat representing South Carolina’s 6th district. U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip. ( @WhipClyburn)

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.civil rights activist. Baptist minister. Served as shadow U.S. Senator for Washington, D.C., from 1991-1997. Founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a progressive international membership organization fighting for social change. ( @RevJJackson)

Bernard Lafayette, civil rights leader and activist. Chairman of the board of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation. John Lewis’ college roommate, and fellow Freedom Rider.

Errin Haines, editor-at-large for The 19th, a nonprofit news organization reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. Formerly, national race and ethnicity reporter for the Associated Press. ( @emarvelous)

— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) July 18, 2020

But I do believe that as the sun set on John Lewis’s life last night, the sun rises on a movement that will never die. Thank you, John, rest in peace my brother. pic.twitter.com/t4C4qBYWrp

— James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) July 18, 2020

Watch on YouTube.

Transcription: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., on the life and legacy of his longtime friend and fellow civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis.

A Life Of Activism, In Photos

 From The Reading List

The New York Times: “ John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80” — “Representative John Lewis, a son of sharecroppers and an apostle of nonviolence who was bloodied at Selma and across the Jim Crow South in the historic struggle for racial equality, and who then carried a mantle of moral authority into Congress, died on Friday. He was 80.”

The Washington Post: “ Democrats demand expansion of voting rights in memory of John Lewis” — “Democratic lawmakers said Sunday that they don’t want tweets or condolences to honor civil rights icon John Lewis. They want policymakers to get to work to honor the Georgia congressman’s legacy. Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House majority whip, urged President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass legislation that would expand voting rights in Lewis’s name.”

The New York Times: The First Time John Lewis and I Integrated the Buses” — “I first met John Lewis in 1958. We were roommates at the American Baptist College in Nashville. We shared a small room with two beds, two wardrobes and a bathroom down the hall. At night in the dormitory, we used to stay up and talk about our experiences growing up in the South. We both came from communities where segregation was the norm, and both of us resented the idea of having to be victims of segregation. We thought about how things could be different. And we both developed a commitment at a young age for civil rights and social change.”

Vox: Politicians and activists praise Rep. John Lewis’s legacy of ‘good trouble’” — “Tributes are pouring in from political leaders and activists following the news late Friday night that Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia congressman and civil rights leader, has died. In tweets and public statements, Democratic and Republican lawmakers, as well as current and former colleagues in the civil rights movement, praised Lewis’s decades of activism — a lifelong project he often described as ‘good trouble.'”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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