Necessary Trouble: Young Activists Remember John Lewis
Basim Blunt and Sulayman Chappelle
To understand John Lewis' life, go online and do a search on these five words: John Lewis Bloody Sunday video.
There's our brother John with his backpack on leading a march of unarmed, peaceful demonstrators - fathers and sons, moms and daughters, cousins, aunts and uncles. He's in the very front.
It's 1965, and everyone is fed up. One hundred years after slavery, our right to vote has been stolen using violence, terrorism and unjust laws.
As you watch the video, you see Alabama state troopers armed with tear gas, bullwhips and nightsticks charge into the crowd of protesters. John Lewis was hit first. His skull fractured as he fell to the ground.
John Lewis was a respected leader in the civil rights movement for 60 years. As a young man, he put his life on the line to ensure that Black Americans would get the right and protection to vote. As a member of Congress, Lewis worked tirelessly for equality and justice.
In March of 2020, 55 years later, our brother John, now a congressman, returned to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and this time, instead of being met with violence and nightsticks, he was met with cheers from hundreds of admirers and fans.
This story was created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.