US Congressman John Lewis, a pioneer in civil rights and a member of the US House of Representatives, died on Friday at the age of 80.
He was an iconic activist for non-violence and civil rights in the United States. John Lewis, Martin Luther King’s former travel companion, has died at the age of 80, the House of Representatives to which he was announced on July 17.
“America today regrets the disappearance of one of the greatest heroes in American history,” House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi wrote in a statement. “John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose kindness, faith and bravery transformed our nation. Every day of his life was devoted to freedom and justice for all,” she added on Twitter.
.@RepJohnLewis was a titan of civil rights whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation. Every day of his life was devoted to bringing freedom and justice to all. pic.twitter.com/xMbfAUhLUv
– Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 18, 2020
At the forefront of Selma’s march
John Lewis, who suffered from pancreatic cancer, had been a member of the United States House of Representatives under the banner of the Democratic Party since the late 1980s. A political commitment that began in his younger years.
This African-American was the son of sharecroppers, at the age of 21, one of the youngest freedom riders to fight for segregation in the American transportation system in the early 1960s. This battle cost him his life.
On March 7, 1965, he spearheaded the first peaceful march in favor of black suffrage in Selma, a stronghold of segregation in Alabama, in the southern United States. order on the bridge Edmund Pettus that day, the young leader of the Student Violence Coordination Committee had a head injury.
John Lewis had already spent a couple of times in jail after organizing “sit” in front of black-banned restaurants and measures on buses to demand an end to segregation.
Obama: “John Lewis was one of my heroes”
“John Lewis is one of my heroes,” said US President Barack Obama during his speech in Selma on March 7, 2015, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the march. The two men then crossed the bridge hand in hand.
During the election of the first black president of the United States in 2008, John Lewis had commented: “If you ask me if this election is the realization of the dream of Martin Luther King, I will say no to you. It’s just d” A payout. Fifty years later, there are too many people left on the road. “
He remained a lifelong supporter of non-violence. In early June, despite his illness, he came to Washington to participate in the mobilization of the “Black Lives Matter” movement against racial discrimination. Remaining close to Barack Obama whom he had supported in 2008, he was a fierce opponent of Donald Trump whom he compared to George Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama.
In a tweet, Barack Obama pays him one last tribute. “Few of us live to see our own heritage develop in such a meaningful and remarkable way. This was the case with John Lewis.”