The Civil Rights hero, a legendary journalist, and, then, well, there’s me and a tie

People mourn John Lewis, congressman representing the state of Georgia, near a mural of Lewis in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, July 19, 2020. (Photo by Alan Chin/Xinhua)

I asked John Pruitt, my friend and former colleague at Channel 2 WSB-TV, if he would offer his observation of John Lewis. Pruitt and I worked together at Channel 2 from 1999 until he retired in 2010. For those of you from outside of Atlanta, allow me to introduce him.

John was into his fourth decade covering news in Atlanta and beyond when I joined Channel 2. I found out quickly what a privilege it was to work with him and I learned so much from him over our ten years together. John represented all of the best qualities to which any journalist should aspire.

He has always loved history because it defined how we got to where we are now. 

He’s extremely observant and deeply interested in the full context of the facts; the who, what, when and where of a news story’s arc.

He is dogged in his pursuit of the truth to the story while maintaining the humanity of the people involved in the story he was covering. 

As an anchor, John provided leadership both in the newsroom and from the anchor desk. He listened to and respected the opinions of others and reserved his observations or opinions for last. And, he was all about maintaining balance and fairness of the telling of the news stories.  

When the sh*t hit the fan and news was breaking, John was the proverbial calm inside the storm. He had the experience and vision to see beyond the chaos of the moment, to connect dots others were not anticipating or seeing and to make us all feel safe in knowing John was on the story. 

He was at his best when it came to political coverage…John is THE man with deep political knowledge in this town. So much so that Channel 2 continues to call on his insight and political wisdom to this day. You will be seeing him over the ramp up to the November elections I can assure you.

And, of course, John’s decades of experience in covering the Civil Rights Movement makes him Channel 2’s go-to expert during times like Lewis’ passing. When Lewis passed, John was on the air with his words of reflection on the life of Lewis.

For all of those reasons, I’m appreciative that John shared his observation and feelings about John Robert Lewis. 

I’ve covered so many public figures over my reporting career, but John Lewis was truly unique.  When he came to Atlanta as head of SNCC [Students Nonviolent Coordination Committee] in the late 60’s, Lewis was already a civil rights legend.  Having survived Bloody Sunday, the Freedom Rides, and a series of arrests and beatings, he was renowned for his courage and leadership.  Time Magazine referred to him as a “living saint”.

Yet, despite his fame, John Lewis was one of the most humble people I ever met.  He was gentle, respectful, soft spoken, and self-effacing. Oh, he could be in your face when crusading for his causes on the floor of the house or walking at the head of a group of civil rights marchers. On those occasions he could be downright bombastic. But his power to persuade through his quiet sincerity and humility, his unquestioned dedication to lead the nation to his life-long goal of the beloved community, could and did move mountains. Those qualities made him a figure of deep respect for people on both sides of our partisan divide.

It was a privilege to cover John Lewis over the course of his long political career.  He made a difference in so many lives right up to the end. And the legacy he leaves will continue to light the way.

Across the displays of clothing stood a Civil Rights legend

More than a few years back, Julie and I were shopping in a Perimeter Mall department store on the Fourth of July. She was off looking for something special while I whiling away the time in the men’s section. I glanced up from whatever clothing in which I was pretending interest and as I scanned around the aisles and displays of men’s clothing there, looking at ties, was Congressman John Lewis. I could only see him from the shoulders up, but I would recognize his profile anywhere. And, he was all alone. 

I felt nervous excitement and the growing need most of us feel in the presence of the famous…to, well, go over and introduce myself. I hesitated for a moment, questioning whether or not it would be rude or disrespectful of his moment alone to do a little uninterrupted shopping. 

And then I thought, this is John Lewis, a Civil Rights legend. He’s right there! In the end, I just could not pass up the opportunity to meet him. I didn’t know what I would say but I would figure it out. 

I made my way over to him as he continued to browse through the ties. I could see that he was dressed in a suit. I must have caught his eye because he looked up, saw me coming and he smiled. I started talking as I approached with my hand outstretched to his, “Congressman Lewis, I am so sorry to interrupt your shopping and I hope that I’m not bothering you too much,” as we shook hands. “My name is Steve Riley and I work for Channel 2.” 

“It is so nice to meet you, Steve,” he said. “And, it’s no bother at all. I’m just in between events and thought I’d find me a new tie.” He grinned again.

“What is it that you do for Channel 2?” he asked. I told him and he acknowledged, “That is a great TV station. You must really enjoy working there.” I told him that I did and then said the only thing I knew to say.

“I want you to know how much I admire you for all that you have done to make Atlanta and our country a better place,” I said. 

“Well, thank you, Steve. I appreciate that. I have certainly had a blessed and rewarding life. But we have much further to go you know.” 

A young man came up, politely said hello to me and told the congressman that it was time for them to go. 

“Well, I gotta get going,” he said looking at me. “I’m am so glad to meet you, Steve. Have a great holiday.” 

I thanked him for his time, we shook hands and off they went. 

And that was that. My personal moment with John Lewis in the men’s clothing department at the mall. And here’s my take on it years later and in light of his passing.

First, did you catch how quickly he welcomed me, how he said and then repeatedly used my name?

He saw me.

Right at that moment, when he was focused on a new tie, he moved so graciously into seeing me, a human being, and taking the opportunity to make a real human connection. He seized the moment to be real. To get real. To make a real connection. And, to get in one more motion toward justice, a campaign that he has been waging for his entire life. 

And he left me a bigger admirer than I was before because he let me see him, too. 

Today, I had another thought about this chance meeting at a clothing store in a shopping mall…in Georgia. Fifty years ago he would not have been welcomed to shop in a clothing store in Atlanta, or anywhere else in the South. And here he was, in Nordstrom’s. I thought, man, what he has seen, what he has endured to get us to the point where this common little thing, looking at a tie, his hands on the material, thinking maybe this one or that one, a Black man with the freedom to choose. His sit-ins and marches and protests and legislative work made it possible for him, and all people, to enjoy the freedom to shop for a tie.

And I am so thankful, for him, what he did with his life and what his life did for this country. 

I thought of this meeting during his funeral service when his niece remarked that “Uncle Robert was always camera-ready.” 

That is true if you look at how he was dressed in a coat and tie in almost every photo. He dignified a protest, whether it was a march or a sit-in, by dressing as if he was in church. I think that he wanted observers, and especially white observers who did not want him there in the first place, to see, by his dress, that he was a serious man involved in serious and important work.

I would like to add that he was also always “people” ready because it was in knowing people that he seemed to receive his greatest joy.

John Lewis: He was Black Lives Matter in the 60’s

Momentous. That is one way to describe the year 2020, which is just seven months in the making. And yet, the year has proven to reveal so much that the word “momentous” feels like a major understatement. 

Consider that in this short time we have witnessed the House of Representatives led by the Democrat majority impeach President Trump on charges of pressuring a foreign government to investigate his then most likely opponent in the upcoming election. We saw the U.S. Senate Republican majority try and acquit the President.  

The coronavirus appeared in the U.S. in March. It has since swept the U.S. causing the largest pandemic in 100 years and killed over 163,000 Americans.

The resulting shutdown necessary to maintain public safety resulted in most of us living our daily lives at home, working, if we were lucky, but out of a job if we worked in the business sectors hit so hard by closures. Unemployment grew to record numbers. The economy dropped to record numbers.

Layered on top of that, the killing by police of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and George Floyd spurred large and consistent protest marches in the streets across the country and the world, many lasting for days and weeks on end. 

It was in this charged atmosphere of political and civil unrest that Congressman John Robert Lewis passed from this earth.

I wrote about his Homegoing in the last post, his remarkable life of commitment to a singular cause of justice and civil rights for African-Americans, and all Americans. I feel a deepening interest in learning even more about Lewis, his belief in non-violent protests, his move from the Movement into politics. His fight for the civil and human rights of all citizens of this great and challenged country.

Working for Channel 2 WSB-TV for the final 19 years of my broadcasting career put me working side-by-side with journalists who covered the Civil Rights Movement from the epicenter of Atlanta. I turned to former colleagues and continued friends for their perspective on John Robert Lewis.

Dorthey Daniels worked for Channel 2 for over 30 years prior to retiring this past year. During that time she produced many of the station’s most important local programming specials including “Return to Selma” in March of 2015. Anchored by Fred Blankenship, the program covered the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. John Lewis, then 25 years old, led the marchers across the bridge.  

Dorthey Daniels, right, receives an EMMY with her colleague and multiple EMMY winner Monica Pearson, left, looking on.

I asked Dorthey for her take on the recognition of Lewis’ life and her experience of having worked closely with him over the years. 

What struck you watching Lewis’ Homegoing service on July 30th? 

I watched a lot of the funeral and coverage of him from Alabama, Washington D.C. and Atlanta. I thought each service along the way was a unique tribute to him. Well planned. Honestly, before his passing, I doubted that many citizens knew him…and if it had not been for the racial strife we’re going through, I wonder if Lewis’ life and death would have gotten so much national coverage. Things have a way of working out, and I believe his death made some people really see how long this struggle for human rights has been going on.

What struck me from the Atlanta service was President Bush’s speech. I loved that he said, “We [Bush and Lewis] didn’t always agree but that’s the way democracy works.” 

Powerful message. Very much needed.

Were you surprised by Lewis’ Op Ed that ran the day of his funeral? 

No. I was not surprised by the 0p-Ed. He knew his time was running short. He knew there was a lot that still needed to be done. I’m glad God blessed him with the opportunity to have a final word. He could have said so many things in that op-ed. He was so unselfish…not talking about his life, but still encouraging others to keep the faith…still serving literally until his last breath.

You produced “Return to Selma,” the Channel 2 Action News special with Fred Blankenship on the 50th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. What stayed with you from working on that and being on that very bridge with him?

Note: Click here to watch “Return to Selma.”

I produced “Return to Selma” in 2015. I approached his office nearly a year before the 50th anniversary and asked if we could go back with him. I knew it would be a special moment. I knew the networks would be there. I’m so glad he told us yes.

A couple of things stayed with me from that day. We arranged for Lewis and his staff to have food when it came time for him to interview with us. They were so grateful, his PR person, Brenda Jones, said no other media offered them anything. We had a local chef in Alabama cook for them and rented out a conference room at the hotel. I remember him sitting there eating, peacefully, quietly and I imagine re-gathering himself for the next round of interviews.

Congressman John Lewis (left) walks with Channel 2 Anchor Fred Blankenship across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during shooting for 50th anniversary special.

       Second, at the end of the interview, Fred showed Lewis a clip of Lewis, Dr. King and Reverend Abernathy at a news conference. Lewis looked like he was 18 years old. His reaction was priceless. He said, “Oh, wow! I’ve seen pictures of this news conference, but not video. This is my first time seeing video of this!!! I remember this very well because I didn’t have a suit and I had to go out and find a cheap one because i didn’t have much money.” 

He asked for a copy of the video and was sincerely grateful when Fred handed him a flash drive with the footage.

       Third, I was impressed with how Lewis spoke so passionately about what happened on that bridge. He remembered every detail: the things he had in his backpack, fruit, book. I thought, how many times has he told this? His conviction was amazing. I’ve seen many, many interviews with him telling the bridge story…but to be there in person and hear what he went through made me so grateful to be in his presence that day.

What questions did you want answered for the program?

Well, again in producer mode, I wanted him and Fred walking across that bridge, a nice lengthy interview for the show and an opportunity for people to hear Lewis in his own words, talk about what happened then and where he thought we were in 2015.

How did meeting him change you and add to your perspective on race in America? 

I had met Lewis many times before at the station. In 2007, Monica and I flew to his office in Washington for an exclusive interview when he announced he would support Obama and no longer support Hillary for president. 

His office was a museum on the civil rights movement: awards, newspaper clippings, billboards and mementos from events. It was like living history. After the Selma special, I learned and appreciated the special place Lewis holds in our history. 

Really, back in the late 50’s and early 60’s he was “Black Lives Matter.” 

They [Civil Rights organizers] were so nervous about what he was going to say at the 1963 march on Washington. He was one of the last speakers. They had a Plan B and C if he didn’t stick to the script but he spoke up and spoke out anyway!!!  What courage!!!!! 

What part of his story affected you the most and why? 

John Lewis was like so many of us growing up in America…knowing this country could do better, be better and had promised its citizens that in nearly every document that we hold sacred as Americans. He inspires me because he heard Dr. King on the radio, knew he had to be a part of the movement, wrote a letter, got an answer and a ticket to come join. He could have easily stayed in Troy and obeyed his parents. That’s what makes our country so great for every single person who comes here or is born here…to have the opportunity to make us better. 

If you could talk to him today, what would you ask him? 

Good question. I think he answered all my questions in that op-ed. It’s a powerful message to current and future generations.

The last time I saw Lewis was in September of 2019, at the grand opening of Tyler Perry studios. He was his customary good natured self.. no entourage, I never saw him with one. He told us how important Perry’s studio was for Georgia and the country. 

I did notice that he looked extremely small and not exactly healthy.

[Editor’s note] When Daniels last saw Lewis he was soon to announce that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He made his diagnosis public in December of 2019, vowing to fight it. “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. While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.”

He died seven months later on July 17, 2020, but not before paying a visit to Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington on June 7th for a private moment to pay his respects to the protests, the protestors and to spirit invoked by Black Lives Matter.

As I said in my former post…we learn a lot from funerals. I’ve also found that often what we learn is that we want to know even more.

Next post, when I looked over the displays of men’s clothing and there, looking at ties, was John Lewis. And, the reflection of long-time Channel 2 (and for a while, Channel 11) anchor, John Pruitt. Stay tuned.

We’ve come to celebrate John Lewis

He was born into the world of Jim Crow. He died in the world of COVID19. Both wrapped a stranglehold around our country. And, through both, John Robert Lewis emerged, through deeds, words, vision and leadership to leave an enduring legacy for us to follow. 

Julie and I watched much of the coverage of his homecoming trip traversing the places in which this quiet young boy from Troy, Alabama, made history. It was a revisiting that set up eloquent and ironic moments when depicted against time and a different era in our country. Nothing said more than his final trip across the Edmund Pettus Bridge as members of the Alabama state troopers honored him with salutes as a horse-drawn carriage carrying his body crossed over, juxtaposing how they received him when he led the march across that same bridge, a bridge named to honor a Confederate general and head of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. Fifty-five years ago, state troopers met him and his fellow demonstrators with billy clubs and tear gas, cracking the young leader’s skull.

Time Magazine cover after Lewis died

In the Rotunda in the Nation’s Capital, while his body lay in state, his colleagues from both the House and the Senate, paid tribute. The most meaningful moment for me came when Speaker Pelosi played the audio from John’s 2014 commencement address to Emory students. His voice was full of life and joy for the students on their day and it filled the Rotunda. As he saluted the students’ accomplishments and urged them to enjoy the moment, to have a good time, he reminded them of what is now their charge: To get in the way. To get into trouble, necessary trouble, good trouble. 

I listened to that address again on Friday morning as I was walking through the neighborhoods near my home. How genuine, how humble and caring his voice resonated. How reassuring. And, how filled with commitment and prophecy. I urge you to give it a listen, again if you’ve heard it before. In this day and time, you can not get too much of his words. 

Thankfully Lewis lived through countless other beatings at the hands of law enforcement to march forward as a young leader of non-violent civil rights movement. Through it all, he showed his character. Loving. Courageous. Hard-working. Funny. Benevolent.  I wondered how a man who had gone through so much, faced so many white people who hated him for his black skin, who denied him at every turn the promises they enjoyed in America. How could he remain such a gentle soul after a lifetime of suffering racism? How could he love those who did not love him back? It’s a question answered by his life lived wholly. It showed us all the way forward; it took a mountain of Willpower, commitment to the Cause, an Ocean of Hope and a Forgiving Heart.

The journey of his homegoing finally led to Atlanta, his adopted home and base. On Thursday, July 30, starting at 11 a.m., at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church of Reverend King, Sr. and Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., and now, Reverend Raphael Warnock, brought him home to let others pay tribute to his completed life. 

Op Ed by John Lewis

I learn a lot from funerals. Something always surprises me. Lewis’s service proved that true again. And, this was no ordinary service because John Lewis was no ordinary man. Three former presidents. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 50 members who served along side of him in Congress, and, Senators Kamala Harris and Corey Booker. 

COVID 19 played a role throughout the service; social distancing reduced the capacity of the sanctuary and all attendees that I saw wore masks, reducing the humanity of the event. Yet, it did not reduce the significance of the ceremony, the compassion for the man, the sadness, grieve and joy in John Lewis’ life. 

I marveled at the number of local, state and national dignitaries attending and the words of those invited to speak. Here are some of the choice words from the day that moved me.

Reverend Warnock, who officiated the service, said, “Instead of preaching sermons he [Lewis] became one. He loved America until America learned how love him back. 

“Here lies a true American patriot who risked his life and limb for the hope and promise of democracy. He was wounded by America’s transgressions… Let the nation say AMEN!”

The following is the Edited prayer by Dr. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., on behalf of the entire King Family. 

“We are eternally grateful, oh God, that he lived among us for four score years and demonstrated on that bridge that physical force is no match for soul force.”

Dr. King then listed the issues that still separate Black Americans from the same freedoms experienced daily by White Americans invoking the country to get into good trouble to overcome:

“…radical reform in policing in our nation. 

“…until voter suppression is no longer apart of our body politic. 

“…until there is an equitable wage. 

“…until all labor is treated with dignity. 

“…until the school, the prison pipeline is nonexistent and every child gets an equitable education. 

“…until white supremacy around the world is uprooted in all of our policies and everyday practices no longer reflect white supremacy. 

“…until this nation truly becomes a compassionate nation because, as Daddy reminded us, ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. 

“…until black bodies are no longer a threat in this world, and black lives have equitable representation, power and influence in every arena.” 

“Grant us finally, Father God, that a double portion to get into good trouble until love becomes the way we live, the way we lead, the way we legislate, and until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

The honorable George W. Bush, who was president the last time the voting rights act was authorized, told the story of working together with John to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. 

“Listen, John and I had our disagreements, of course,” said Mr. Bush, a Republican. “But in the America John Lewis fought for, and the America I believe in, differences of opinion are inevitable elements and evidence of democracy in action.”

President William Jefferson Clinton said, “John always kept walking to reach the beloved community. He got into a lot of good trouble along the way, but let’s not forget, he also developed an absolutely uncanny ability to heal trouble waters. When he could have been angry and determined to cancel his adversaries, he tried to get converts instead. He thought the open hand was better than the clenched fist.”

House Majority Leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi said, “He wanted us to see the civil rights movement through his eyes.” She spoke on the commonality of President Abraham Lincoln and John Lewis. “We got to know John from his speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. 

“And now, John’s body lay in state in the nation’s capital on the platform that held Lincoln’s body.”

Pelosi went on to remark that a double rainbow appeared over his casket in front of the Capital. There was no rain, just a double rainbow. She believed that Lewis was telling us that “I’m home in heaven.” 

If you were to go and watch only a few of the speakers, I highly recommend that you watch the Reverend Dr. James Lawson’s tribute. I am embarrassed to say that I have not heard of Lawson but I intend to learn more from him. To me, he was the surprise of the funeral. What a mind, presence and force. He and John met during a formative time in Nashville in the 50’s. They have been friends in the deepest sense of the word, ever since. Here are some of his words and his points of reflection and direction on behalf his comrade in arms: 

“Most of the books are wrong about how John Lewis got into the movement. Sixty years ago was the time of sit-ins that swept into every state in the nation. Black women made the decision that it was going to happen in Nashville with this confluence of people. 

“John Lewis had no choice in the matter. You should understand that. John saw the malignancy of racism in Troy that formed in him a sensibility that he had to do something about it. He was convinced that he was called to do whatever he could do, get into good trouble, to stop the horror that so many folk lived through. 

“At an early age we recognized the wrong under which we were forced to live and we swore to God that we would do what we had to do in order to put on the table of the nation’s agenda…this must end! Black Lives Matter!!

“John Lewis must be understood as one of the leaders of the greatest advance of Congress and the White House on behalf of We the People of the USA. 

“We need the Constitution to come alive!

“We will not be quiet as long as our economy is shaped not by freedom but by Plantation Capitalism that continues to cause domination and control rather than access, liberty and equality for all.” 

Professor Lawson ended his tribute quoting the famed Black poet Langston Hughes, “I dream a world where no human, no other human was scorned…where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorned.”

Jamila Thompson, Lewis’ Deputy Chief of Staff, said, “He created the space. A family. As a staff we are heartbroken, we are lost.” 

And, she reiterated her mentor’s lifelong belief and mantra, “Be kind. Be mindful. Recognize the dignity and work of everyone. For the love of God, please vote.” 

I also loved the remarks of his niece, Sheila Lewis O’Brien, as she expressed the thanks from the family. I got the feeling of just how tightly knit they were by her description of their gatherings. She smiled and said, “Uncle Robert,” as he was known to the family, “was always picture ready.” 

“Because of you, John.” 

The words Barack Obama wrote on John’s program from the inauguration.

And then, the time came for which all had waited. President Barack Hussein Obama II took the pulpit. One of the greatest writers and orators to hold the presidency, he reminded me of so much that we have missed over these almost four years. Obama knows how to tell a story, and his powerful eulogy put heart, courage, muscle, context, pain, suffering, hope and triumph together in ways that inspired me to keep the faith. 

He told the story of meeting Lewis for the first time when he was in law school. Obama introduced himself and said, “Mr. Lewis, you are one of my heroes.” Lewis gave him an “Aw shucks” grin, shook his hand and thanked him.

The next time they met, Obama had won his Senate seat and he told Lewis, “John, I’m here because of you. And on inauguration day in 2009, he was one of the first people I greeted and hugged on that stand. And I told him, ‘This is your day too.’”

“John Lewis will be a founding father of the fuller, fairer, better America. He believed that in all of us there’s the capacity for great courage. He believed in us even when we didn’t believe in ourselves.”

And then Obama turned his attention to the people in power and the state of our country today, saying that that is what John would want him to do. To speak out. 

“John spent his life fighting for democracy. He knew that it depends on whether we summon a measure, just a measure, of John’s moral courage to question what’s right and what’s wrong and call things as they are. 

“If we want our children to grow up in a democracy, not just with elections, but a true democracy, a representative democracy, and a big hearted, tolerant, vibrant, inclusive America of perpetual self-creation, then we’re going to have to be more like John. 

“Keep getting into good trouble. Make the powers that be uncomfortable. 

“The voting rights act is one of the crowning acts of our country. You want to honor John, let’s do so by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for. 

“Like John, we’ve got to keep getting into that good trouble. He knew that nonviolent protest is patriotic, a way to raise public awareness, and put a spotlight on injustice, and make the powers that be uncomfortable. If you don’t do everything you can do to change things, they will always remain the same.

“He could not have been prouder to see this new generation of activists standing up for freedom and equality. A new generation that was intent on voting and protecting the right to vote. In some cases, a new generation running for political office. And I told him, ‘All those young people, John, of every race and every religion, from every background and gender and sexual orientation, John, those are your children.’ 

“And that’s what John Lewis teaches us. That’s where real courage comes from. Not from turning on each other, but by turning towards one another. Not by sowing hatred and division, but by spreading love and truth. Not by avoiding our responsibilities to create a better America and a better world, but by embracing those responsibilities with joy and perseverance, and discovering that in our beloved community, we do not walk alone. What a gift John Lewis was. We are all so lucky to have had him walk with us for a while and show us the way. God bless you all. God bless America. God bless this gently soul who pulled it closer to its promise.

“Thank you very much.”

If you made it to this point, bless you. I hope that the words and sentiments of these people, brought together safely in the time of COVID19, makes you feel. Feel for the mighty and just fight for justice which John Lewis fought using his open hand, his forgiving heart and his undying belief in his country to do the right thing.

Now, let’s do it. Get into good trouble. Necessary trouble. Get in the way. And, VOTE!

More reading:

Harvard Gazette remembers Lewis

Washington Post Article on Lewis

Opinion Piece in WAPO on the day of Lewis’ funeral

From Time magazine