John Lewis

John Lewis

John Robert Lewis was an American politician, statesman, and civil rights activist and leader who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. He participated in the “Freedom Rides” of 1961, was arrested and beaten in Selma, Alabama fighting for voter rights of Black Americans, and on Sunday, March 7, 1965, in Selma, some 600 marchers lined up behind the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Chair. This march was organized to go from Selma, Alabama to the State capital in Montgomery, 54 miles away, to protest the February 26 murder of Jimmy Lee Jackson by police and the denial of voting rights. The police informed the marchers to turn back, but instead they knelt and John Lewis along with many others was beaten and arrested. Lewis spent his life defending voter rights and humanitarian needs.

In 2015, Lewis returned to Selma, Alabama for “America’s Journey for Justice” alongside Presidents Obama and 
George W. Bush to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the incident upon the bridge. 5 years later atop the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Lewis is quoted in saying, “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.” Poster created by Clara Lang Ezekiel.

John Lewis (2)

Alabama state troopers beat SNCC’s John Lewis on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, Library of Congress photo,


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