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Remembering Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Leader And 'The Conscience Of Congress'47:34
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Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they wait to enter as a group to attend the memorial services for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they wait to enter as a group to attend the memorial services for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

We look back on the life of John Lewis, the civil rights icon and congressman who dedicated himself to the fight for racial equality. From his emergence on the national stage during the March on Washington in 1963 to his decades as a symbol of moral authority on Capitol Hill, we remember the man and his legacy of public service.

Guests

Rep. James Clyburn, Democrat representing South Carolina’s 6th district. U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip. (@WhipClyburn)

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.civil rights activist. Baptist minister. Served as shadow U.S. Senator for Washington, D.C., from 1991-1997. Founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a progressive international membership organization fighting for social change. (@RevJJackson)

Bernard Lafayette, civil rights leader and activist. Chairman of the board of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation. John Lewis' college roommate, and fellow Freedom Rider.

Errin Haines, editor-at-large for The 19th, a nonprofit news organization reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. Formerly, national race and ethnicity reporter for the Associated Press. (@emarvelous)

A Life Of Activism, In Photos

U.S. clergyman and civil rights leader Martin Luther King (3rd R) and other major American leaders of the Black civil rights movement (L from R) John Lewis, Whitney Young, Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, James Farmer and Roy Wilkins, meet 06 March 1963 in Roosevelt Hotel in New York during a meeting dedicated to the organization of the "March on Washington", held 28 August 1963 to promote civil rights for Afro-Americans. (OFF/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. clergyman and civil rights leader Martin Luther King (3rd R) and other major American leaders of the Black civil rights movement (L from R) John Lewis, Whitney Young, Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, James Farmer and Roy Wilkins, meet 06 March 1963 in Roosevelt Hotel in New York during a meeting dedicated to the organization of the "March on Washington", held 28 August 1963 to promote civil rights for Afro-Americans. (OFF/AFP via Getty Images)
In this March 7, 1965, file photo, a state trooper swings a billy club at John Lewis, right foreground, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala. Lewis sustained a fractured skull. (File/AP Photo)
In this March 7, 1965, file photo, a state trooper swings a billy club at John Lewis, right foreground, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala. Lewis sustained a fractured skull. (File/AP Photo)
Dr Martin Luther King Jr (1926 - 1990), arm in arm with Reverend Ralph Abernathy, leads marchers as they begin the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march from Brown's Chapel Church in Selma, Alabama, US, 21st March 1965; (L-R)an unidentified priest and man, John Lewis, an unidentified nun, Ralph Abernathy (1926 - 1990), Martin Luther King Jr (1929 - 1968), Ralph Bunche (1904 - 1971) (partially visible), Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907 - 1972), Fred Shuttlesworth (1926 - 1990). (William Lovelace/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Dr Martin Luther King Jr (1926 - 1990), arm in arm with Reverend Ralph Abernathy, leads marchers as they begin the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march from Brown's Chapel Church in Selma, Alabama, US, 21st March 1965; (L-R)an unidentified priest and man, John Lewis, an unidentified nun, Ralph Abernathy (1926 - 1990), Martin Luther King Jr (1929 - 1968), Ralph Bunche (1904 - 1971) (partially visible), Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907 - 1972), Fred Shuttlesworth (1926 - 1990). (William Lovelace/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
In this Tuesday night, Sept. 3, 1986, file photo, John Lewis, front left, and his wife, Lillian, holding hands, lead a march of supporters from his campaign headquarters to an Atlanta hotel for a victory party after he defeated Julian Bond in a runoff election for Georgia's 5th Congressional District seat in Atlanta. (Linda Schaeffer/AP Photo, File)
In this Tuesday night, Sept. 3, 1986, file photo, John Lewis, front left, and his wife, Lillian, holding hands, lead a march of supporters from his campaign headquarters to an Atlanta hotel for a victory party after he defeated Julian Bond in a runoff election for Georgia's 5th Congressional District seat in Atlanta. (Linda Schaeffer/AP Photo, File)
In this March 4, 1990 file photo, civil rights figures lead marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the recreation of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march in Selma, Ala. From left are Hosea Williams of Atlanta, Georgia Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Evelyn Lowery, SCLC President Joseph Lowery and Coretta Scott King. (Jamie Sturtevant/AP Photo)
In this March 4, 1990 file photo, civil rights figures lead marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the recreation of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march in Selma, Ala. From left are Hosea Williams of Atlanta, Georgia Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Evelyn Lowery, SCLC President Joseph Lowery and Coretta Scott King. (Jamie Sturtevant/AP Photo)
U.S. civil rights pioneer and Democratic member of Congress Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) is arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents in front of the Sudanese Embassy in the United States while demonstrating against the genocide in Darfur April 27, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. civil rights pioneer and Democratic member of Congress Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) is arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents in front of the Sudanese Embassy in the United States while demonstrating against the genocide in Darfur April 27, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama presents a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)
In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama presents a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) is arrested by U.S. Capitol Police after blocking First Street NW in front of the U.S. Capitol with fellow supporters of immigration reform, on October 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) is arrested by U.S. Capitol Police after blocking First Street NW in front of the U.S. Capitol with fellow supporters of immigration reform, on October 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) hugs US Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, one of the original marchers at Selma, during an event marking the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) hugs US Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, one of the original marchers at Selma, during an event marking the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. John Lewis on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Rep. John Lewis on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. John Lewis leads a march of thousands through the streets of Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Participants in Atalanta and across the nation rallied against gun violence and in support of stricter gun control. (AP Photo/ Ron Harris)
U.S. Rep. John Lewis leads a march of thousands through the streets of Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Participants in Atalanta and across the nation rallied against gun violence and in support of stricter gun control. (AP Photo/ Ron Harris)
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they wait to enter as a group to attend the memorial services for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they wait to enter as a group to attend the memorial services for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

 From The Reading List

The New York Times: "John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80" — "Representative John Lewis, a son of sharecroppers and an apostle of nonviolence who was bloodied at Selma and across the Jim Crow South in the historic struggle for racial equality, and who then carried a mantle of moral authority into Congress, died on Friday. He was 80."

The Washington Post: "Democrats demand expansion of voting rights in memory of John Lewis" — "Democratic lawmakers said Sunday that they don’t want tweets or condolences to honor civil rights icon John Lewis. They want policymakers to get to work to honor the Georgia congressman’s legacy. Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House majority whip, urged President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass legislation that would expand voting rights in Lewis’s name."

The New York Times: "The First Time John Lewis and I Integrated the Buses" — "I first met John Lewis in 1958. We were roommates at the American Baptist College in Nashville. We shared a small room with two beds, two wardrobes and a bathroom down the hall. At night in the dormitory, we used to stay up and talk about our experiences growing up in the South. We both came from communities where segregation was the norm, and both of us resented the idea of having to be victims of segregation. We thought about how things could be different. And we both developed a commitment at a young age for civil rights and social change."

Vox: "Politicians and activists praise Rep. John Lewis’s legacy of 'good trouble'" — "Tributes are pouring in from political leaders and activists following the news late Friday night that Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia congressman and civil rights leader, has died. In tweets and public statements, Democratic and Republican lawmakers, as well as current and former colleagues in the civil rights movement, praised Lewis’s decades of activism — a lifelong project he often described as 'good trouble.'"

This article was originally published on July 20, 2020.

This program aired on July 20, 2020.

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