2020 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Norwood, Frazier, Butler, Jackson (11th), Jordan, Barnett, Blount
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND PAYING TRIBUTE TO REPRESENTATIVE JOHN ROBERT LEWIS, LONGTIME UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATE, AND EXTENDING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE TO HIS BEREAVED FAMILY.
WHEREAS, it is with deep sadness that we note the passing of John Robert Lewis, United States Representative and civil rights icon, on July 17, 2020, at the age of 80; and
WHEREAS, Congressman John Robert Lewis was born on February 21, 1940, outside of Troy, Alabama, to parents, Eddie and Willie Mae Lewis. He grew up on a farm in a family of sharecroppers and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama; and
WHEREAS, John Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy at Fisk University. While there, he organized volunteers for sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, in 1961, John Lewis challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals throughout the South by participating in Freedom Rides, and he was beaten by angry mobs, harassed and jailed several times, including in Mississippi, for peacefully confronting the injustice of Jim Crow laws. Today, his mugshot from his 1961 arrest in Jackson hangs in a gallery at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum with those of other Freedom Riders; and
WHEREAS, on March 7, 1965, John Lewis helped lead over 600 peaceful protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to demonstrate the need for voting rights for African Americans. He and other marchers were brutally attacked by law enforcement, and graphic photos and television coverage of the brutality helped to expedite the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That day became known as "Bloody Sunday"; and
WHEREAS, Congressman Lewis was elected to 17 terms in Congress, beginning in 1986, and continued to be a champion for civil rights throughout his tenure. His popular quote, "Get in trouble. Good trouble. Necessary trouble," has become a mantra for many to continue working toward eliminating racism; and
WHEREAS, in 2011, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama; and
WHEREAS, we pay tribute and cherish fondly the memory of Representative Lewis, who will be missed by all who were fortunate to have known him:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and pay tribute to the memory of civil rights activist and politician, John Robert Lewis, and extend the sympathy of the Mississippi Legislature to his bereaved family.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of John Robert Lewis and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.