John Lewis – Civil Rights Leader 1940-2020

English version available…

Parce que sans liberté et égalité, il n’y a plus de vie…

“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

John Lewis December 2019 remarks in the House on impeachment of President D.T.

Aujourd’hui, John Lewis, a traversé une dernière fois le Pont entre Selma et Montgomery. Je ne me souviens pas quand j’ai entendu parler de John Lewis pour la première fois. Avec le film SELMA, j’ai découvert la vie de cet homme qui a combattu pour les droits humains et pour l’accès au vote de la population Afro-Américaine. Mais c’est vraiment depuis sa mort, il y a quelques jours, que j’ai appris comment il a poursuivi son combat jusqu’au dernier instant. Il s’agit d’un très bref résumé; je vous encourage à aller lire sur sa vie longue et dédiée à la défense des autres. Voici quelques livres qu’il a écrits:

  • March – Books One, Two and Three
  • Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement
  • Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

Dès son jeune âge, il est inspiré par Rosa Parks, qu’il a rencontrera à l’âge de 17 ans. Il écrit une lettre au Dr Martin Luther King Jr, qui lui répondra par une invitation à le rencontrer; ce qu’il a fait un an plus tard, à l’âge de 18 ans.

1961     Il est un des 13 ‘’Freedom Riders’’, un groupe de jeunes militants noirs et blancs qui ont risquer leur vie pour faire tomber les lois de la ségrégation.

1963     Il fait un discours, lors de la Marche Historique sur Washington, rassemblement historique où le Dr Martin Luther King Jr., prononcera son discours, ‘’I have a dream’’.

“So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal. » I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  August 28, 1963. Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

1965     Il est brutalement agressé par un ‘’State Trooper’’ et emprisonné pour avoir traversé le pont Edmund Pettus à Selma, Alabama.

1986 Il est élu pour la première fois au Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. Il conservera son siège jusqu’à son décès, 34 ans plus tard.

2009     Il est le seul orateur toujours vivant de la ‘’March on Washington’’, présent sur la scène à l’Inauguration de Barack Obama comme Président des Etats-Unis. Lewis a demandé à Obama de signer une photographie commémorative. La photo portera les mots suivants: ‘’Because of you, John. Barack Obama »

2015     Il se joint au Président Barack Obama pour la commémoration du 50e anniversaire des Marches pour le Droit de vote, de Selma à Montgomery.

Toute sa vie, il a défendu les droits civiques. Il a travaillé à la reconnaissance et la protection des droits de la Communauté LGBTQ. En 2016, suivant la tuerie du Pulse Nightclub à Orlando, il participe à un sit-in de 26 heures au Congrès, en faveur d’un meilleur contrôle des armes à feu. Il marchera aussi à la Marche des femmes à Atlanta en 2017; pour ne citer que quelques-uns de ses accomplissements.

LGBT RIGHTS Extrait du Site John Lewis Congressman

»I fought too long and too hard to end discrimination based on race and color, to not stand up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  As your representative in Congress, I work daily to combat injustice and fight for equality.

Human rights, civil rights, these are issues of dignity.  Every human being walking this Earth, whether gay, lesbian, straight, or transgender, is entitled to the same rights.  It is in keeping with America’s promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. »

2020     Il avait 80 ans, quand il a rendu son dernier souffle d’une vie pleine, riche, significative et inspirante pour nous tous.

Le 26 juillet 2020, il a de nouveau traversé ce pont, pour une dernière fois.

Merci, John Lewis, d’avoir fait du monde, un endroit meilleur pour tous.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

John Lewis Civil Rights Leader 1940-2020

“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

John Lewis December 2019 remarks in the House on impeachment of President DT

Today, John Lewis crossed this bridge for the last time. I don’t remember when I first heard of him. It was in the movie SELMA that I learned about his early journey. I strongly recommend you watch it. But it is really since his passing that I got to learn more about his Life Journey. This is only a brief summary of all his achievements. For my part, I will certainly read the books he wrote:

  • March – Books One, Two and Three
  • Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement
  • Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

Early on, he was inspired by Rosa Parks; he got to meet when he was only 17. He wrote to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who responded with an invitation to meet him, which he did a year later at the age of 18.

1961    He was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders, a group of young black and white activists trying to defy the segregation laws.

1963    He was a Speaker at the historic March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., pronounced his Historic Speech, ‘’I Have a Dream’’

“So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal. » I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  August 28, 1963. Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

1965     He was brutally beaten by a State Trooper and arrested for attempting to cross peacefully, the Edmund Pettus Bridge between Selma and Montgomery.

1986 He was first elected to Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. He maintained his seat until his death, 34 years later.

2009 He was the only surviving speaker from the March on Washington who attended the Inauguration of Barack Obama, the First African American to be elected President of the United States. Lewis asked Obama to sign a Commemorative photograph. Obama signed, ‘’Because of you, John. Barack Obama’’

2015 He joined President Barack Obama, with many others, for the Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Marches.

All his life he served to fight for Civil Rights. He was a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights in Congress. In 2016 he was part of a 26 hour sit-in in Congress to demand stronger gun control measures after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. He marched with the Women’s March in Atlanta in 2017; to name few of his accomplishments.

LGBT RIGHTS Excerpt from John Lewis Congressman website.

»I fought too long and too hard to end discrimination based on race and color, to not stand up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  As your representative in Congress, I work daily to combat injustice and fight for equality.

Human rights, civil rights, these are issues of dignity.  Every human being walking this Earth, whether gay, lesbian, straight, or transgender, is entitled to the same rights.  It is in keeping with America’s promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. »

2020     He was 80 years old when he took his last breath of a full, loving, meaningful, and inspiring life.

July 26th 2020 He crossed that bridge again today, for the last time.

Thank you John Lewis for making the world a better place for all of us.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

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