Showing posts with label John Lewis passes away at 80. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Lewis passes away at 80. Show all posts

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. released the following statement regarding the passing of Congressman John Lewis. The Georgia Representative and civil rights icon died on July 17, 2020, after fighting cancer for several months. Congressman Lewis spent more than 30 years in Congress, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and fought for racial equality across the country during his storied and historic life.

“This is just a devastating loss for me and our entire country,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Congressman Lewis was such a great fighter for the right thing in our nation. For me, I have lost one of my fathers on the floor of the House. I was in awe of how he could convey such power and strength with a gentle demeanor. His passion and love for his country and people brought out a ferociousness in this mild-mannered man. He didn’t just speak for civil rights, he stood up against abuse and suffered to make this a better country for all Americans.

I learned so much from him. One of my greatest honors happened when we held a ‘sit-in’ on the floor of the House to try and get a vote on gun control legislation. It was his leadership that sparked that effort. There were so many situations like that I could mention. He always said it was important to ‘get into good trouble’ and those words have inspired me to this day. He was a hero, a mentor, a leader, and a great, great friend. As I said before, this is a tragic loss for our entire country.”

Congressman Lewis’ leadership was evident in hundreds of actions in and out of the House of Representatives. In 2016, Congressman Lewis led a ‘sit-in’ on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to protest the Republican leadership’s refusal to allow a vote on gun control after 49 people died and 53 were injured during a shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, FL.

Rep. Jim Clyburn: Edmund Pettus Bridge should be renamed after John Lewis.

While appearing on Meet The Press Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), echoed calls for the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., to be renamed after the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who died on Friday.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Watch full John Lewis speech at the March on Washington

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who died at the age of 80, famously gave a speech at the March on Washington in 1963. At just 23, he was the youngest civil rights activist to deliver an address to the crowd that day, which is best remembered for Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Lewis' remarks also left a lasting impression although it is not as well remembered.

Watch the civil rights icon's March on Washington speech below:

NAACP statement on passing of Rep. John Lewis

The NAACP mourns the passing of Congressman John Lewis, a resounding civil rights giant. He fought harder and longer than anyone in our nation’s continuing battle for civil rights and equal justice.

Often called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced,” John Lewis dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. By 1963, Lewis was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. At the age of 23, he was an architect and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963.

Along with Hosea Williams, John Lewis led over 600 peaceful, orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965. They intended to march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state. Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of nonviolent philosophy.

John Lewis went on to become a United States Congressman and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since 1986. Lewis was a member of the influential House Budget Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, where he served on the Subcommittee on Health until his death. Congressman Lewis served as Senior Chief Deputy Democratic Whip and sat in a direct line of succession to the number two Democratic leadership position in the House. John Lewis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize. He received the NAACP Spingarn Medal in 2002 and the NAACP Chairman’s Award in 2020.

If we know anything about our dear friend John Lewis, he wanted us to continue the battle for full participation in a democracy that he began long ago with other civil rights icons. On November 3, we can and must honor our beloved John Lewis by casting our ballot and ensuring that our vote is counted, up and down the ballot.

John Lewis was a national treasure and a civil rights hero for the ages. We are deeply saddened by his passing but profoundly grateful for his immense contributions to justice. He used every waking moment of his 80 years to push this country toward more representative democracy and left behind a remarkable model. It is up to us to pick up his mantle and carry on, and we urge the entire nation to join us. As people of all colors are in the streets seeking racial justice, we urge all that can to speak louder and stay a little longer to honor the best warrior for democracy our nation has ever known.

The NAACP extends our sincerest condolences to the family of Congressman Lewis and sends prayers of comfort and strength now and always.

Rep. James Clyburn statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC 6th District) released the following video statement on the passing of his friend and civil rights icon John Lewis: