John Lewis, the Civil Rights icon has passed away at 80.
Back in December, it was announced that Lewis was battling Stage IV pancreatic cancer. His death was confirmed by Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
The Congressional Black Caucus released a statement about Lewis’ passing. “The world has lost a legend; the civil rights movement has lost an icon, the city of Atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders, and the Congressional Black Caucus has lost our longest-serving member. John Lewis was known as the conscience of our Caucus.”
Lewis served more than three decades in Congress, was the son of sharecroppers, and later became known as an original Freedom Rider, fighting against discrimination, segregation, and injustice in the south.
In 1963, Lewis alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. organized the March on Washington, where he served as the keynote speaker at the age of 23 years old. This March led to giving Black people the right to vote two years later. He would go on to become a member of the Atlanta City Council and a community activist before winning a seat in Congress in 1986.
At age 25, he led the march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Images from that day would later be known as “Bloody Sunday”, as the marchers were met by police with clubs who attacked them, fracturing Lewis’ skull.
In 2011, Lewis received the Medal of Freedom from America’s first Black President, Barack Obama.
When Lewis was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he made the promise to fight in a statement. “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.”
Rest in Power Rep. John Lewis. Let’s keep his family, friends, and loved ones in our prayers.