John Lewis – great American, great humanitarian.
Ted Folkert – July 18, 2020
What can we say about John Lewis, the great humanitarian and civil rights leader who marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. Lewis, born in poverty, one of ten children, became an activist and organizer as a teenager and was a dominant voice for racial equality his entire life, serving 17 terms in congress. Of course this was after his career as a prominent civil rights leader who was said the have been beaten and jailed more than 40 times but never deterred from his innate mission of “we shall overcome.”
He was Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was a leader in the Edmond Pettis Bridge March where he was beaten over the head and nearly killed. He was again injured in the Selma March which was an inspiration for President Lyndon Johnson for the civil rights movement which inspired the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. Lewis grew up in cotton country in Alabama where he couldn’t get a library card because they were for whites only.
Lewis was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
His message was quoted as: “If you see injustice, stand up and speak out.” And that is what he did.
What can you say about him? Here are some of the words describing him: courageous, tenacious, compassionate, orator, minister, chairman, patient, distinguished, honoree, inspirational, activist, congressional leader, and great American.
If we could all live up to a few of the terms describing John Lewis it would truly be a better world – which was all he wanted and all he strived for.
May he rest, in peace.