Home Politics Remembering the Life of Civil Rights Icon: A Tribute to John Lewis

Remembering the Life of Civil Rights Icon: A Tribute to John Lewis

Remembering the Life of Civil Rights Icon: A Tribute to John Lewis

Only few political figures who effectively manage transition from Civil Rights activists to parliamentary officials, so without sacrificing energy and relying on the cause. Yet the U.S. model of civil rights John Robert Lewis, Georgia’s 17-year Democrat, was a remarkable figure who had never deviated from his initial goal to see black Americans treated equally, fairly and with respect in America.

Early Life 

Lewis strived to be a pastor in his young adulthood and had no contact with white men. Interestingly, Lewis had just two White men in his life until he was six years old. When he got a bit older he started to travel with his family to the area, where he witnessed discrimination and racism, for example in the public library of Troy. Lewis was raised and appointed a Baptist priest with the Americans “Baptist Theological Seminary” in Nashville. He graduated from Fisk University in theology and science. 

SNCC and Struggles as Student 

He became committed to the campaign for civil rights as a student. He held lunch sessions in the separated Nashville counter and as a member of the Nashville activist movement engaged in several other civil rights events. In the peace revolution Lewis had been imprisoned and held several times to deactivate the downtown area of city. Between 1963 and 1966, Lewis remained chairman of the “Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee” or SNCC. In reaction to the “1963 Civil Rights Bill”, Lewis had addressed the SNCC Chairman condemning the plan, as it would not shield black Americans from racial violence or grant Africans the ability to vote. 

Lewis as Freedom Rider 

In 1961, Lewis was among the 13 founding Riders of Freedom. These were consisted of six whites and seven Blacks from Washington to New Orleans in untied fashion. Freedom Rides also revealed the powerlessness of the government to abuse against law-enforcing residents. In the south, the angry crowds were battered and imprisoned by Lewis and the peaceful Freedom Riders. 

Member of U.S. House of Representatives 

Lewis was appointed in 1986 and spent 17 terms in the United States as a member of Democratic Party in “U.S. House of Representatives”. Here, he became a Democratic Party representative where he served as Chief Deputy Whip since 1991 and as Senior Deputy Whip since 2003. Lewis has received numerous honours, including the Presidential Award of Liberty.He was the President of the “Georgia congressional delegation” because of his service length. Much of Atlanta was part of the area he served. 

Funeral and Former President Eulogies 

The funeral of the Hero of Civil Rights, which died on July 17, 2020, cannot be overstated in terms of its symbolic and practical meaning. Former President Bill Clinton on Lewis funeral recalled moments from his life: 

“We honor our friend for his faith and for living his faith. Which the Scripture says is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen,” former President Bill Clinton said. 

Similarly, Barack Obama, the first Black president of US said: 

“I’ve come here today because I, like so many Americans, owe a great debt to John Lewis and his forceful vision of freedom, It is a great honor to be back in Ebeneezer Baptist Church, in the pulpit of its greatest pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to pay my respects to perhaps his finest disciple — an American whose faith was tested again and again to produce a man of pure joy and unbreakable perseverance – .