Today, we can log onto the Internet for information, download our favorite book or check out a best seller at our local library. But as a child in Alabama during the 1950’s, John Lewis couldn’t walk into his local library to read or check out a book. Segregated public facilities were common in the South at that time.
That denial was the beginning of John Lewis’s lifetime calling of getting into good trouble for the rights of others. After he went into the Pike County Public Library and was denied a library card, he started a petition and, while signed mostly by family members, he mailed it to the county in protest anyway. He likely didn’t know if his methods would be effective but that harsh reality was the beginning of his journey of fighting for civil and human rights.
He was arrested over 40 times throughout the South, protesting the double standard of segregation and fighting the violent resistance to registering intimidated voters. John Lewis and so many others in the civil rights movement risked life and limb through civil disobedience.
While discrimination is very different today than it was on that day at the Pike County Public Library, John Lewis continues to fight for the human dignity of all Americans. From the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the freedom rides and the sit-ins, to figthing for women, children and seniors, to a 2009 arrest protesting policies in Darfur, John Lewis has been getting into good trouble for decades.
Re-electing John Lewis for Congress will ensure he continues to get into good trouble for the people of the 5th Congressional District in the years to come.