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Described as “one of the most courageous people civil rights has ever produced,” John Lewis has been a leader of many progressive social movements and the human rights struggles in the United States. In 1961, Lewis volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which were organized to challenge segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South.

Lewis risked his life and was beaten severely by mobs for participating in the Rides. By 1963, he was recognized as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. (The other Big Six leaders were Whitney Young, A. Phillip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and Roy Wilkins). 

Lewis, at the age of 23, was one of the planners and a keynote speaker at the historic “March on Washington” in August 1963. Congressman Lewis also served on the Democratic Steering Committee. He was also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Committee to Support Writers and Journalists.

John Lewis served his people, and his country until he died. This month, and always we celebrate heroes such as John Lewis for his work and contribution to the Black community. This month on IMPACT TV, you can watch and celebrate other Black heroes.

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