A Hero for all Time
John Lewis dedicated his life to advancing human rights and civil liberties.
He was one of the leaders of The Great March on Washington for civil rights, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. Throughout his life he practiced the philosophy of non-violent protest.
Lewis took part in the sit-in movement to desegregate lunch counters in Nashville, TN. Lewis was arrested and jailed many times. He was also beaten many times as one of the original Freedom Riders, who tried to end the practice of segregation on public transportation. This was unconstitutional but unenforced. Once, he was beaten and left for dead at a Greyhound station.
Yet, he said: “We were determined not to let any act of violence keep us from our goal. We knew our lives could be threatened, but we had made up our minds not to turn back.” John Lewis was often called "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced“ and is a hero to many. He was awarded the Presidential Medal, the highest civilian honor.
Essay by John Lewis on his hero, Martin Luther King, Jr.
(excerpt from The MY HERO Book: 2005)
Congressman John Lewis talks about how his hero Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired him as a young man during the Civil Rights Movement.
Documentaries on John Lewis
In 1965, the historic Selma March known as Bloody Sunday was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. John Lewis, then a young student, co-led hundreds of peaceful marchers seeking voting rights for African Americans in the South.
Read Barack Obama's eulogy for John Lewis and view a short film featuring the last essay authored by Lewis published in NYT's at his request on the day of his funeral. The editorial titled: “Together, You Can Redeem The Soul Of Our Nation,” was read by Morgan Freeman at the request of MSNBC's host Lawrence O’Donnell.
MY HERO Stories on John Lewis
Organizer created on 2/14/2018 3:01:30 PM by Staff
Last edited 2/16/2021 11:24:16 AM by Laura Nietzer