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Lewis, John

b. 1940

John Lewis, a son of Alabama sharecroppers, organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters as a student at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1961, he participated in Freedom Rides with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). When he was elected SNCC chairman in 1963, he had been arrested 24 times for his activism. Highly regarded in the Civil Rights Movement, he was a leader upon whom Dr. King relied. Lewis joined King as a keynote speaker during the March on Washington in 1963. He helped coordinate Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964 and lead the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where his moral leadership and commitment to King’s vision are widely respected. In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Associated Archive Content : 34 results

Statements on Jobs and Poverty

Dr. King explains the relationship between violence and the lack of employment among young people. Dr. King also speaks of the Thanksgiving Fast for Freedom and its efforts to end poverty and hunger.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

This pamphlet details the history, programs and purpose of The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Telegram from Paul Deitrich to John Lewis

Paul Deitrich commends John Lewis for his speech in Washington and urges him to contact him whenever he is in Washington again. He also wants to express a much-delayed apology.

To Fulfill These Rights

The White House Conference on Civil Rights printed this program in preparation for their June 1966 conference. The theme of this agenda is entitled To Fulfill These Rights.