Rep. John Lewis’ Funeral, Burial Set for Thursday

Rep. John Lewis’ Funeral, Burial Set for Thursday

Professor Carol Anderson remembers the life and legacy of US congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who died Friday, aged 80.

It was markedly different than President Donald Trump, who fought against wearing a mask until he practically had no other choice.

Three former presidents - Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton - are all in attendance.

Distinguished University Chair, Professor and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative Yohuru Williams worked with New York City educators on a civics curriculum inspired by Lewis' March, a graphic novel trilogy created to share Lewis' story with new generations, and had the opportunity to share the stage with him on various occasions.

"If all this takes eliminating the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that's what we should do", he said.

"Even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don't get sick", he said.

Former congressman John Lewis will be laid to rest on Thursday after a funeral service at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Ever since 1987, Lewis has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia's 5th district (D).

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Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, delivered a "Call to Celebration" and welcome remarks. "We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now!" It became known as "Bloody Sunday".

"Dr. King said that in the 1960s", Obama said, standing in King's former church. "He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by".

Nathan Knight, 73, a retired building contractor, said he came to the funeral to honor a man he met as a young boy in 1958, joined in marches over the years, and was present when Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

On Sunday, a lone caisson carried Mr Lewis' body across the Alabama bridge where in 1965 a policeman fractured his skull during a protest that helped forge his reputation as a fearless civil rights leader.

"As we honor the life of this nonviolent warrior, who embodied the very spirit of Christ and showed us we have the spiritual power to resist injustice and evil and hatred and vitriol with the force of love and truth, we are eternally grateful", King said.

"Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe", Mr Lewis wrote.

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