John Lewis is a Civil Rights Icon – period. As a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and the only living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, he serves as a role model for all aspiring and rising activists who seek a blueprint on what it takes to commit oneself to a life of public service. Here are a few photos that prove his actions and audacious involvement in the civil rights movement produced a greater America.
Here’s a mugshot of John Lewis getting into what he called “good and necessary trouble” after being arrested for participating in the Freedom Rides of 1961.
Speaking at the 1963 March on Washington at the young age of 23.
Marching for voting rights in Alabama alongside Ralph Abernathy, James Forman, Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Jesse Douglass.
March 7, 1965, John Lewis, Hosea Williams and others confronted by a mob of Alabama State Troopers who would soon attack the marchers for their attempts to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
March 7, 1965, though a peaceful protester, John Lewis was attacked as he and others attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge as a part of the voting rights movement, led by Dr. King, in Alabama.
CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images
2013, at the age of 73 years old, still laying his life on the line for others. John Lewis was arrested during an act of civil disobedience to pressure Republicans into voting on Immigration Reform.
With “The Big Six Organizers” which was comprised of Civil Rights leaders from various organizations with one common purpose… from left to right, John Lewis (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Whitney Young (National Urban League), A. Phillip. Randolph (Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters), Martin Luther King Jr. (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), James Farmer (Congress of Racial Equality) and Roy Wilkins (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
All of the gentlemen pictured above, with the exception of John Lewis, are no longer living. He is a living, action and results oriented civil rights ICON whom we should all respect, uplift and honor. Thank you, Congressman Lewis.