Rep. John Lewis serves in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. Georgia’s 5th covers a large portion of Atlanta and the area south of the city, and he has been serving since 1987. He is a leader in the House, and has focused on health care, human rights, and equality. However, Rep. Lewis is known for so much more than as a U.S. Representative. He is a Christian, a father, and one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
The Civil Rights Movement
He was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and was part of the SNCC and the “Big 6” where he fought for equality and voting rights. He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington. Lewis and Hosea Williams organized the march across the bridge in Selma, which was meant to protest the lack of voting rights. However, as the 600 protesters crossed the bridge, the protesters were attacked by police officers. Lewis still bears the scars of “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis was arrested over 40 times in peaceful, non-violent demonstrations during the 1960s.
Lewis is an incredible speaker, as proven by the speeches he gives on the floor of the House. What you may not know is he had a stutter growing up, but he moved past it by preaching to the livestock on the family farm. Faith helped him learn hard work as he grew up in Alabama. While his family was poor, they worked hard and focused on the importance of family and faith.
His faith turned him to wanting to pursue religious education. He graduated from Fisk University with a bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy, and he also graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary. His faith carried him through the Civil Rights Movement, which was founded on Christian principles. It was his faith in God that kept his heart from turning to hate when he was arrested and abused. It’s the same faith in God that keeps him fighting in the House of Representatives for those less fortunate, and even leading a sit-in on the floor of the House for health care.
John Lewis married Lillian Miles in 1968. She worked as an educator during her career while supporting her husband’s political career. The two adopted one son: John Miles Lewis. Lewis worked to teach his son the importance of the past, how the past affects the present. John Miles Lewis turned to hip-hop and music and much of his lyrics have to do with his father and the Civil Rights Movement.