All Articles Tagged "john lewis"
Student organizer John Lewis made history in August 1963 when he, at 23, was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, where the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Today, at 71, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is a keeper of history, a lawmaker whose fingerprints are on some of the nation’s most significant tributes and monuments to the contributions of African-Americans to American culture. ”I think it’s important for people to know the whole story and the full story of America for generations yet unborn,” Lewis said. He’s the sole surviving speaker from the Aug. 28, 1963, march. “It’s important to leave these museums, these little pieces of history, to inspire, inform and educate unborn generations.”
(AJC) — It is not an election year, but Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is in full campaign mode for U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the preservation of his congressional district. Under a proposal being floated by Republican leaders in the Georgia General Assembly, Lewis, who represents Atlanta, would lose the Buckhead area to Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, who represents the 11th District. If it happens, it would be the first time in modern history that a Republican would represent a portion of Atlanta. Lewis has said the plan was “an affront to the spirit and the letter of the Voting Rights Act.” Reed agrees.
(ABC) — Thousands of unemployed waited overnight, camping out in their business suits and office heels and braving the tormenting heat in Atlanta to stand in line for a job fair Thursday. Authorities treated 20 people for heat exhaustion as they struggled to keep the line moving and get people moved inside. The incredible turnout at the job fair comes on the heels of the state labor commissioner’s announcement that Georgia’s jobless rate rose. The state unemployment rate increased to 10.1 percent in July from the 9.9 percent in June. The unemployment rate for African-Americans stands at 15.9 percent, far above the national rate of 9.1 percent. July marks the 48th consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate. The line was full of hopefuls who waited for hours in a line that wrapped around the Atlanta Technical College where the event was held.
(The Root) — During the week of May 22-26, hundreds of Americans are expected to converge in Jackson, Miss., to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Between May and December of 1961, the nonviolent protest against segregation in the Deep South — which continued despite the Supreme Court’s outlawing of such practices — saw 436 black and white young people riding interstate buses together through the South, testing segregation laws. For flouting rules on who could ride in the front of a bus or use waiting rooms designated “Whites Only” and “Colored,” the Freedom Riders faced vicious mob attacks, slashed tires, firebombs and jail cells. Yet after persevering through more than 60 rides, they helped to hasten desegregation and ignite a nationwide movement for civil rights. Among the Freedom Riders was a 21-year-old seminary student named John Lewis. He went on to chair the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, speak at the 1963 March on Washington, lead the voting-rights march from Selma to Montgomery and represent Georgia’s 5th District in the U.S. Congress, where he continues to serve today.
(AJC) — John Lewis probably dashed a few political hopes Tuesday, saying that he intends to run for Congress again next year. ”I plan to continue to serve,” Lewis told a luncheon audience at the Atlanta Press Club. “I’m not in any ways tired.” The 71-year-old lawmaker, who has served the Georgia’s 5th District since 1987, will see the district redrawn this summer. Over the past decade, the 2010 census found, it has has experienced a significant out-migration of Lewis’ predominantly African American base.
(AJC) — Seeing some parallels to their own struggle, veterans of the civil rights movement from the 1960s have joined the fight against Arizona-style legislation targeting illegal immigration. In Georgia, state lawmakers are poised to vote on two bills that would empower police to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects and punish people caught transporting and harboring illegal immigrants. Such legislation, civil rights activists warn, could bring about the same kind of discrimination and racial profiling African-Americans struggled against decades ago. They have been delivering fiery speeches against House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 40 and marching alongside Hispanic activists in Georgia and in other states in recent months. There is a sharp division among blacks on this issue, however, with some arguing illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from African-American U.S. citizens and burdening public schools and hospitals in black communities. Both immigration bills could come up for votes in the final days of this year’s legislative session in Georgia next week.
(AJC) — U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta is one of 15 people who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, at a 1:30 p.m. White House ceremony today. The 2010 honorees include former President George H.W. Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, poet Maya Angelou, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and sports legends Stan Musial and Bill Russell. The medal is given to individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
(AJC) — U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta already is considered a hero of the civil rights movement. Could he soon become a comic book superhero, too? Lewis and an aide have inked a deal with Atlanta-based comic book company Top Shelf Productions to produce a new graphic novel based on the congressman’s experiences during the civil rights movement. Tentatively called “March,” the illustrated book is scheduled for release in 2012. “This is something I really wanted to do some years ago and there is no better time to do it than now,” Lewis said in announcing the deal. “It is not just a story of struggle; it is a story of involvement. It shows the ups, the downs, the ins and the outs of a movement.” According to Top Shelf, the publishing agreement is a first. It will mark the first time a sitting member of Congress has authored a graphic novel, and Top Shelf claims to be the only graphic novel publisher to be certified by the House Committee on Standards. As a resident of Atlanta, Top Shelf founder Chris Staros said he knew of Lewis and his past. He didn’t expect to do a graphic novel about the congressman’s life, however, until he was approached recently by Lewis aide Andrew Aydin about the project. ”I knew it was a brilliant idea right off the bat,” Staros said. He said he expects the book to be 160 to 200 pages long. He declined to disclose financial details, beyond saying that it will be royalty-based.
(The Root) — We were warned by Rep. John Lewis two years ago. He took John McCain and Sarah Palin to task during the 2008 presidential campaign for “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” Lewis knew well the consequences of political violence; he was badly beaten during civil rights protests in the South a half century ago. Throughout last year, alerts continued, delivered by black politicians and pundits who expressed alarm about weapons at Tea Party rallies and brutal,sometimes racist rhetoric that cast President Barack Obama as a Nazi, a communist, a Middle East terrorist or, worse, an illegal alien who had somehow fooled the American people into putting him in the White House.
(AP) — U.S. Rep. John Lewis says Congress has “difficult days ahead” as it grapples with tough issues on unemployment benefits, tax breaks and other problems facing the country. The Atlanta Democrat spoke to the annual meeting of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators in Atlanta on Thursday. He told the crowd he couldn’t stay long because he had to get to Washington, D.C., for votes on continuing unemployment benefits and extending tax cuts.