Saturday, July 18, 2020

Icon of Justice: Honoring the Life and Legacy of John Lewis, 1940-2020

Anchor the eternity of love in your own soul and embed this planet with goodness. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.

Writes Brad Collier:

The best way we can honor the life and legacy of John Lewis is to get out there and get involved in some “good trouble.” Stand tall in the face of oppression. Lift up those who are in danger of falling by the wayside. Engage in righteous, nonviolent protest. Register people to vote. Push your country toward the realization of its highest ideals, and do the same for yourself. Be kind. It falls to all of us to continue his work. Let’s make him proud.

Above: Rep. John Lewis in the Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library in Tennessee – November 2016. (Photo: Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Related Off-site Links:
Obituary: John Lewis, 1940-2020 – Michael Carlson (The Guardian, July 18, 2020).
The US Loses Two Icons of the Civil Rights Movement in One Day – Faith Karimi (CNN, July 18, 2020).
C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights Leader and Champion of Nonviolent Action, Dies at 95 – Colin Dwyer (NPR News, July 17, 2020).
John Lewis Risked His Life for Justice – The Editorial Board (The New York Times, July 17, 2020).
John Lewis on Love, Forgiveness, and the Seedbed of Personal Strength – Maria Popova (Brian Pickings, July 18, 2020).
He Dressed Up at Comic-Con. He Preached to Chickens. He's the John Lewis You Don't Know – John Blake (CNN, July 18, 2020).
How Director Dawn Porter Was Able to Tell John Lewis’ Story in Good Trouble – Mark Olsen (Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2020).
John Lewis: The Purest of the Pure – Robert Scheer (, July 18, 2020).

UPDATES: Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Remembered in Ceremonies Across Alabama – Matthew S. Schwartz (NPR News, July 25, 2020).
John Lewis Makes One Final Journey Across Selma Bridge – Daniel Politi (Slate, July 26, 2020).
John Lewis, Lying in State, Is Honored as Part of a “Pantheon of Patriots” – Luke Broadwater (The New York Times, July 27, 2020).
Trump Says He Won’t Go and Pay Respects to John Lewis at Capitol – John T Bennett (Independent, July 27, 2020).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – January 16, 2017
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Democratic Socialism
Moderates, Radicals, and MLK
Remembering Julian Bond, 1940-2015: “Tireless Champion for Civil and Human Rights”
Why Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond Will Be Marching for Gay Rights (2009)
The Same Premise
The Choice (and Risk) That is Love

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