John Lewis, congressman from Georgia and civil rights activist, died Friday and leaves behind a big legacy. Let’s remember him and celebrate the things he did for our country, while committing to what we must continue to do to carry forward in his efforts. As a country, now is the time we leave behind “I’m not racist” and replace it with the activism, education, and reform that says “I’m anti-racist.”
John was a member of the Big Six, coordinating the March on Washington in 1963 (he spoke that day at only age 23). He was a young leader fighting to help end legal segregation in our country (he was arrested 24 times in his nonviolent activism), working hard to register voters in the deep south, serving in SNCC, and organizing the march in Selma, AL. He continued to work as a public servant, always seeking greater justice for all.
Becoming an anti-racist means educating yourself, speaking up when you see injustice or racial hatred, and deciding that you can do more because we can all do more. In this country we need to promote the equality of black and brown people (friends, neighbors, co-workers, students, strangers) and remove judgment, hatred, and exclusion of all forms. Black people in America deal with a struggle every day that needs to be a memory for the next generation, thought of only as “how it used to be”. For that reality, our role in this just got bigger. In memory of John Lewis, the fight for equality and a better future continues.
Influential quotes from John Lewis:
(*share one on a social media platform AND share it with 3 friends for a conversation starter!!)
“Not one of us can rest, be happy, be at home, be at peace with ourselves, until we end hatred and division.”
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”
“We are one people; we are only family. And when we finally accept these truths, then we will be able to fulfill Dr. King's dream to build a beloved community, a nation, and a world at peace with itself.”
"It is the power in the way of peace, the way of love. We must never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way."
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