In honor of Black History Month, all month long we will be sharing the legacies and stories of the heroes, sheroes, and events in the fight for Black suffrage on social media under the hashtag #VRABlackHistory. Follow us on Twitter (@VRAmatters) to share your own facts.

Today we honor Congressman John Lewis, who has fought for equality and voting rights his entire life.  Congressman John Lewis has put his heart, soul, skin, blood, and tears into the fight for African-American suffrage. Congressman John Lewis was “a leading participant in nearly all of the pivotal events of the civil rights movement”. Congressman Lewis:

  • participated in the 1960 Nashville sit-ins; 
  • helped form in 1960 and was chairman of from 1963-1966 the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; 
  • participated in the 1961 Freedom Rides; 
  • helped organize registration drives through the SNCC starting in 1962; 
  • was an architect of and youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom;
  • helped lead the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Marches and was one of the seventeen people hospitalized on Bloody Sunday; 
  • was head of the Voter Education Project from 1970-1977; 
  • was elected to his first official government office as an Atlanta City Council member in 1981; and, 
  • has served thirteen consecutive terms as Congressman of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District since 1987, where he still advocates regularly for voting rights for all.