John Lewis

John Lewis aka John Robert Lewis or John R. Lewis for short, was an American civil rights leader and politician. John was born in 1940, in Troy, Alabama, and was the third of ten children. Growing up among racism and segregation, Lewis first heard Martin Luther King and his movements on the radio and would later meet Rosa Parks when he was 17, and met King for the first time when he was 18.

John Lewis graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary and then received a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy from Fisk University where he was very dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement.

A member of the Democratic Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until 2020 and the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. The district he served includes the northern three-fourths of Atlanta.

As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, which played many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States.

Later, John became a leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1991 until 2020 as a Chief Deputy Whip and Senior Chief Deputy Whip from 2003 to 2020.

John Lewis Black Moments:

  • Member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity
  • Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama
  • Awarded more than 50 honorary degrees
  • Was a member of of over 40 caucuses
  • Became the senior chief deputy whip in the Democratic caucus in 1991
  • Spend over 33 years in Congress
  • Lead, partook and organized thousands of civil rights protests

RELATED BLACK MOMENT: Barack Obama

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