How I’ll honor the memory of John Lewis
In grainy images from the civil rights movement, we see a young John Lewis clad in tie and trench coat, his face fixed in the earnest expression of a man who knows he is walking into trouble.
“Good trouble,” he would later call it. The kind of trouble that resulted in beatings and arrests. The kind of trouble that could have very well cost Lewis his life. The kind of trouble that ultimately changed America for the better.
Lewis, who died Friday from pancreatic cancer, beat the odds more than once in a life marked by good trouble. He beat the odds as a teenager, when he wrote to civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to request help in getting into college. King not only responded. He sent Lewis a round-trip ticket from Troy, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., to participate in a civil rights march. Lewis beat the odds again when he marched into history by crossing Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in a quest for Black voting rights.