Before he became a U.S. congressman, John Lewis was one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement. John reflects on his life of activism, his friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and offers wisdom for the ongoing fight for justice and equality. By the time he was 18, John was participating
Publish Date: Jan 17, 2019
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Before he became a U.S. congressman, John Lewis was one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement. John reflects on his life of activism, his friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and offers wisdom for the ongoing fight for justice and equality. By the time he was 18, John was participating in lunch-counter sit-ins to protest segregation. Eventually, John rode with the brave Freedom Riders on buses through the deep South, spoke at the famous March on Washington, led the historic Selma to Montgomery march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and was in the room when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today, John is a congressman from Georgia who continues his fight for civil rights, most recently leading sit-ins on the House of Representatives floor in favor of immigration reform and gun control. John says he still believes in non-violence, and says it is his obligation to pass on this tradition to a new generation of young activists, so that we may never go backward and repeat the mistakes of the past.
you must believe that some high in some way we're going to overcome we're going to survive may get knocked down. But you got to get up, dry your tears and keep moving during the freedom rides or during the sit ins during my efforts in Mississippi around the vote, working in Selma, I never, ever thought about given up. And then it is too much. I never thought about dropping out. You come to that point, but you say I got to go on and see what they ain't going to be. You have to You have to get out there and push and pull to try to make things better. The generations yet unborn, each one of us has the ability to resist, not to be quiet. We have to be brave. We have to be bold. We have toe use a constitutional right. It means a march or silent walk a sit in or sit down or maybe signing a petition writing the letter voting. We have to be engaged. All of us as members of the human family, as citizens of this country, their forces, they wanted to take us back to another place, and we're saying We're not going back but come too far. We made too much progress to stop, not or to turn around. That's I feel it is quarter my obligation, my mission, a mandate to reach as many young people as possible. The fight is not over. We have to continue to fight, and sometimes you have to fight some of the old battles over and over again for the next generation. For generations yet unborn, you too can make a contribution, and you must.