Congressman John Lewis
John Lewis, then president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, leads civil rights marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965.
Now known to history as “Bloody Sunday,” the peaceful protesters were confronted and brutally attacked by state troopers as they crossed the bridge on their way to Montgomery to demonstrate for African-American voting rights.
“Bloody Sunday” was a seminal moment in the civil rights movement and American history.
John Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
An icon of the civil rights movement, Congressman Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders. On August 28, 1963, he was the youngest speaker at the culmination of the March on Washington that saw Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his “I have a dream” speech. Congressman Lewis was the youngest of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders. In 1965, John Lewis and Hosea Williams led the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the images from which continue to symbolize the struggle for civil rights.
In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded Congressman Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.
On 12/29/2019, Congressman Lewis announced that he has been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. “Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey," he wrote in a statement. The Global Indigenous Council offers our collective prayers and support to Congressman Lewis in this latest fight. “I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now," he said.