Activists, Politicians Pay Tribute To Civil Rights Icon John Lewis
By Paris Close
July 18, 2020
Barack Obama, Martin Luther King III, Nancy Pelosi, and more are mourning the death of civil rights icon John Lewis.
The longtime Georgia congressman died on Friday (July 17) following a months-long battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.
In his lifetime, Lewis had served more than three decades serving in Congress since being elected into the House of Representatives in 1986. As one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, Lewis famously faced down death and violence while leading the Bloody Sunday march to Montgomery from Selma, and survived a brutal beating by Alabama police after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The shocking moment in history would help push to end racial segregation in America.
In light of the shattering news, many politicians, celebrities, and other famous figures have taken to social media to pay homage to the towering politician’s instrumental career.
Human rights advocate and son of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., tweeted, "He gave a voice to the voiceless, and he reminded each of us that the most powerful nonviolent tool is the vote. Our hearts feel empty without our friend, but we find comfort knowing that he is free at last.”
Pelosi applauded how Lewis’ “goodness, faith, and bravery and transformed our nation,” adding, "John Lewis's memory moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make 'good trouble, necessary trouble.' May it be a comfort to his son John-Miles & his entire family that so many mourn their loss at this sad time."
Scroll down for more tributes and reactions to John Lewis' death below.
John Lewis was an American treasure.— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) July 18, 2020
He gave a voice to the voiceless, and he reminded each of us that the most powerful nonviolent tool is the vote.
Our hearts feel empty without our friend, but we find comfort knowing that he is free at last.
John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans. I'm devastated for his family, friends, staff—and all those whose lives he touched.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 18, 2020
My friend, thank you for showing the world what #GoodTrouble looks like. pic.twitter.com/cvG8nSJCW5
John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America’s unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together. In so doing he became the conscience of the nation.— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) July 18, 2020
John Lewis was the truest kind of patriot. He believed America could be better, even live up to its highest founding ideals of equality & liberty for all. He made good trouble to help us get there. Now it’s up to the rest of us to carry on his work. Rest in power, my friend. pic.twitter.com/a3gEAiMzp3— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 18, 2020
Rest in Heavenly peace Mr. John Lewis. Thank you for your service, for your committment to change and your courage. You did great with your time on this earth. "Goodnight sweet Prince. May flights of angels sing the to thy rest." And...pour some blessings on us down here 🙏🏿❤️ pic.twitter.com/9ZBSnLYmMa— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 18, 2020
My friend, role model, and activist extraordinaire has passed. Congressman John Lewis taught us how to be an activist. He changed the world without hate, rancor or arrogance. A rare and great man. Rest in Power and may God finally give you peace. #RIPJohnLewis pic.twitter.com/uQY48LoFzx— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) July 18, 2020
Rep. John Lewis has passed. It is not enough to say he was a revered civil rights icon. He was a man of impeccable integrity who dedicated his life to fighting against racism, discrimination & injustice. John was a true leader who inspired us all to have the courage to fight.— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) July 18, 2020
Photo: Getty Images