John Lewis

“Good Trouble” Activist & State Representative

John Lewis was born on February 21, 1940, in Troy, Alabama, as the third child out of ten. His parents were sharecroppers, named Willie Mae and Eddie. 

At age five, John was preaching and in search of justice all of the time. At age fifteen, John Lewis first heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the radio. He was inspired and began to follow Dr. King’s sermons and public service, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He knew that seeking justice for Black people was his purpose.

John was dedicated to The Civil Rights movement. He was instrumental in organizing boycotts, sit-ins, and marches, to support voting rights and racial equality. In 1961, he became one of the first Freedom Riders. He called these protests  “good trouble.” 


John went on to become a director for many foundations and grassroots organizations; he became a part of the Atlanta City Council and the United States House of Representatives. In these roles, he called for peace during the war, preservation of Black history, and continued his journey of protest. 

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