Civil Rights Icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis Dies at 80

Sunday, 19 Jul, 2020

Voter suppression right now is at an all-time high. I think I said to myself, 'What else can you do to me?

Lewis, 80, who died of pancreatic cancer late Friday, made an early mark as a young leader of the 1960s civil rights struggle, helping to lead the 1963 March on Washington, suffering wounds from a police beating in Selma, Ala., in 1965, enduring dozens of arrests and then serving as a House of Representatives member from Georgia since 1987.

Arthur M. Blank, the owner of Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United and Chairman of the Blank Family Foundation, released a statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis and the Rev. C.T. Vivian.

"I have been in some kind of fight-for freedom, equality, basic human rights-for almost my entire life".

Meanwhile, amid a national movement to abolish Confederate monuments and symbols, calls have grown to rename for Lewis the bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he was brutally beaten in 1965. "John's life reminds us that the most powerful symbol of what it means to be an American is what we do with the time we have to make real the promise of our nation - that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally".

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said: "I know of no man with more courage than John Lewis. May he rest in peace".

The NBA also issued a statement in rememberance of Lewis.

"John is an American hero who helped lead a movement and risked his life for our most fundamental rights; he bears scars that attest to his indefatigable spirit and persistence", House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in December 2019 after Lewis announced his cancer diagnosis. "I told him then that he was one of my heroes", Obama said in a statement Friday.

On the front lines of the bloody campaign to end Jim Crow laws, with blows to his body and a fractured skull to prove it, Mr. Lewis was a valiant stalwart of the civil rights movement...

"I'm glad that he got to see the efforts of his past sixty years of activism bear such precious fruit these last few months as people took to the streets, just as he had, to fight for a just and free America".

"Thank you for keeping the dream alive all these years and paving the way for us #RIPJohnLewis", Paul tweeted.

"Andrew Young gave a speech at an all-White church", Rivers said. So I say to you, my brothers and sisters, we can not give up.

He carried that theme through to his speech, telling an audience of about 100 people, "Your state remains so lovely and green, it makes me hope OR can be a national leader on human issues". And I've been getting in trouble ever since.

"May it be a comfort to his son John-Miles, his entire family, Michael Collins and his entire staff that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time", she also said.