Country mourns civil rights icon
By LJ Dawson
on Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 1:00 AM
Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, died on July 19, at the age of 80, leaving a legacy of fighting for civil rights. He served three decades in Congress. When he was 23, Lewis declared in a speech at the March on Washington, “[t]o those who have said, ‘Be patient and wait,’ we have long said that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now!”
Two years later, law enforcement broke his skull while beating him and other marchers walking from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama, to protest racist voting laws. The incident became known as “Bloody Sunday,” which helped push through the 1965 Voting Rights Act, protecting Black Americans’ right to vote.
In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the act, saying jurisdictions with a history of voter discrimination could make, without oversight, changes to the voting process that could affect protected minorities. Democrats are pushing to restore the original Voting Rights Act in Lewis’ memory.