[Ed. – A man from a different era, when a passion for civil rights wasn’t just cover for power- and rent-seeking. R.I.P.]
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the renowned civil rights leader who served as a symbol of the movement throughout his more than three decades in Congress, died Friday at the age of 80.
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. on “Bloody Sunday,” Lewis decisively carved a place for himself in the history books as a courageous young activist during the height of the civil rights movement.
He was elected to Congress in 1986 and served 17 terms representing an Atlanta-area district. While in Congress, Lewis served as a physical reminder of how far the country had come on civil rights — and how much more was left to be done. …
Lewis was born on Feb. 21, 1940 to a family of sharecroppers on a farm outside of Troy, Ala., and attended segregated public schools. Inspired by the activism demonstrated by Montgomery Bus Boycott and Martin Luther King, Jr., Lewis began his work of what he liked to call “good trouble.”
Lewis started his civil rights activism by organizing sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tenn., where he was a student at the historically black Fisk University.