Sadly, it has been confirmed that Civil Rights hero Congressman John Lewis has passed away. The 80-year-old was suffering from stage IV pancreatic cancer which he announced in December. The Georgia lawmaker will be remembered for his heroic leadership within the Civil Rights movement and beyond.
Born to Alabama sharecroppers, Lewis lived a legendary life which included making history as an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington alongside Martin Luther King Jr. to a trailblazing political career. He won his Georgia congressional seat in 1986 and in November of 2018 was elected to his 17th term.
Also a best selling author, the father-of-one was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. While awarding him with the honor, President Obama spoke to Congressman Lewis’ legacy.
“Generations from now, when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind – an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now.”
Attesting to his heroism, Congressman Lewis recently reflected on Twitter of how he was arrested and jailed for standing up to southern Jim Crow Laws.
59 years ago today I was released from Parchman Farm Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson, MS for using a so-called "white" restroom during the Freedom Rides of 1961. pic.twitter.com/OUfgeaNDOm
This heartbreaking news comes just days after the release of “John Lewis: Good Trouble” a documentary produced by Erika Alexander and directed by Dawn Porter which highlighted the life and legacy of the congressman.
We also said goodbye to another Civil Rights and political hero, Representative Elijah Cummings who passed away in October at the age of 68.
Though it tugs at our hearts to say goodbye to those who mean so much to our culture and history, we all can find joy and pride in the paths they have paved for us all as their legacies and memories last forever.