Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Before the Memories Fade: Rep. John Lewis

Today, September the 17th, I met with one of the most storied 60's Civil Rights icons, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia. Representative Lewis was kind enough to meet with me during his extremely busy Capitol Hill schedule. Given that this Fall session has been jam- packed, the time was well appreciated. I will take it on faith that by now you have read up on the movement and know that Rep. Lewis was in the front of the battle lines on the fight to end segregation.

The interview was held in his office where I saw several photographs and reminders of his ties to the movement. The Congressman and I had a wonderful interview and I truly enjoyed hearing the stories from him. Rep Lewis talked about the importance of the Freedom Rides and what it was like to be on them. He also told what it was like the day of the March on Washington. I learned that the ten speakers met with congressmen on Capitol Hill and then marched with the crowd to the Lincoln Memorial. Rep. Lewis spoke 6th in front of the massive crowd of people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on that historic day. After the march, the speakers met with President John F. Kennedy.

Rep. Lewis also talked about his belief in non-violence as a lifestyle and why he joined the movement. We also talked about the physical abuse he took, including his beating during "Bloody Sunday."

I could have questioned, talked, and listened to the Congressman for hours, but the buzzers were sounding as several votes were being called on the House floor so the Congressman had to leave.

It's so great to here stories of these events that helped to change the course of American history!

For more information on Rep. John Lewis, go to http://johnlewis.house.gov/ or search his name on the Internet.

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