John Robert Lewis was an American civil rights leader and politician. He was a member of the Democratic Party, and was the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death.

Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, played many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States. Serving as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis arrived in Selma in 1963 to help register black people to vote.

Eight months later and just days after helping Martin Luther King Jr. organize the March on Washington, Lewis is arrested for the first of more than 40 times, for civil rights activities in Selma.

Why do we celebrate?

Trailblazers such as  John Lewis are celebrated because of their continued and consistent efforts to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every black person across America.

Lewis remained focused on fighting against poverty and helping younger generations in the black community so much so that he gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice.

He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed and well remembered.

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