A Tribute to John LewisBy Urban League of HR
The Urban League of Hampton Roads joins with millions of citizens around the globe as we mourn the death of Congressman John Lewis and celebrate his life.
Mr. Lewis, known as the “Conscience of the Congress” leaves a legacy of unwavering commitment to the principles of his faith and moral beliefs. His life is defined by his remarkable courage and dedication to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties and building what was known as “ The Beloved Community” in America.
Mr. Lewis, born the son of sharecroppers, at an early age was greatly influenced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Lewis became the Chairman of the the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC) which he helped to form. By 1963, he was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. At the age of 23, he was a speaker at the March on Washington. This historic event was attended by 250,000 people and is remembered for Dr. King’s “ I Have a Dream” speech.
Mr. Lewis is particularly known for helping to lead over 600 peaceful protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. The goal was to march from Selma to Montgomery to showcase the need for voting rights in Alabama. The marchers, including Mr. Lewis, were brutally attacked by the Alabama state troopers in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Over the years, Mr. Lewis remained true to his convictions and continued to stand his ground. He was arrested 45 times for civil disobedience. And, only weeks before his death, Mr. Lewis stood in support of the efforts of the current global protests seeking equitable social justice and racial equality led by the Black Lives Matter movement. The same goals that have characterized his life’s pursuits.
We salute a life well-lived and one that truly mattered. We are grateful and are beneficiaries for the sacrifices and contributions of Mr. Lewis. We are thankful for his willingness to “never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
Congressman Lewis, “ Rest In Peace and Power.”