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Civil rights icon John Lewis mourned at the Atlanta funeral


Barack Obama angered President Trump and his government during his fiery eulogy for the late John Lewis by calling for efforts to suppress voting and combat tear gas use by peaceful agents by federal agents.

Obama spoke at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in front of the American flag coffin and Lewis & # 39; corpse in front of the coffin, saying the late civil rights activist had dedicated his life to fighting the attacks on democracy we are seeing circulating now immediately. & # 39;

Obama refused to mention Trump by name, saying that the electoral system is currently under attack by Republicans who are trying to suppress the minority election and Trump's repeated attacks on mail-in votes.

"We may no longer need to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar to cast a ballot, but even if we sit here, there are those in power who do their utmost to keep people from voting by going to polling stations close and target minorities and students with restrictive ID laws that attack our voting rights with surgical precision and even undermine the postal service in advance of an election that will depend on postal ballot papers so people don't get sick, ”he said. referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He asked Congress to act on voting rights and restore the voting rights law that the Supreme Court reduced in 2012 and said, “You want to honor John? Let's honor him by reviving the law for which he wanted to die.

& # 39; The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, that's a nice tribute. But John wouldn't want us to stop there. Once we have passed it, we should keep marching to make it even better. & # 39;

Obama called the procedural hurdle, which effectively requires 60 votes to pass key laws, a "Jim Crow relic" that refers to the era of segregation.

He said that all Americans, including inmates, should be automatically registered for voting, and said that election day should be a national holiday to ensure that everyone can get to a polling station.

His criticism came just hours after Trump proposed to postpone the 2020 election on allegations of "mail-in fraud" – a power he doesn't have.

Former President Barack Obama spoke on Thursday in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in front of the coffin with the American flag and John Lewis & # 39; corpse, and said he owed his "mentor" Lewis and his haunted vision of freedom a huge debt

Obama said Lewis would

Obama said Lewis would be a "founding father of a fuller, better, and fairer America" ​​when he took a rousing eulogy for the icon of civil rights and the longtime congressman

During his 41-minute eulogy, Obama also compared Trump to former Alabama governor George Wallace, who was once notoriously saying "segregation now, segregation forever", and struck the government for recent scenes in which federal agents gassed demonstrators in tears to have.

"Bull Conner may be gone, but today we see with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black Americans," he said. "George Wallace may be gone, but we can see our federal government send agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators."

Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80 after fighting pancreatic cancer. His funeral on Thursday includes a week of worship and homage to the icon of civil rights

Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80 after fighting pancreatic cancer. His funeral on Thursday includes a week of worship and homage to the icon of civil rights

Trump used troops to evacuate protesters from Lafayette Square outside the White House and recently sent federal agents to Portland, Oregon.

"I know that this is a celebration of John's life. There are some who might say we shouldn't be dealing with such things. But that's why I'm talking about it. John Lewis dedicated his time on Earth to fighting the attacks on democracy and the best in America that is currently in circulation, ”said Obama.

Obama, who awarded Lewis the Medal of Freedom in 2011, said he owed a great debt to his "mentor" and his haunted vision of freedom, and Lewis was "a founding father of a fuller, better, and fairer America".

He said Lewis was an American whose belief "had been tested time and again to produce a man of pure joy and unbreakable perseverance".

"Americans like John … freed us all. America was built by people like them. America was built by John Lewises, ”said Obama.

“Like everyone else, he brought this country closer to our highest ideals. And one day, if we end this long road to freedom, be it years or decades, or even two centuries away, John Lewis will be a founding father of this fuller, fairer, and better America. & # 39;

Regarding Lewis’s fight for civil rights, Obama said the Americans should be vigilant against “darker currents in the history of this country”.

"This country is always under construction," he said. “We are born with instructions to form a more perfect union.

In these words, the idea is explicit that we are imperfect. What gives every new generation the purpose is to take up and continue the unfinished work of the last generation than anyone thought possible. & # 39;

One day, if we end this long road to freedom, be it years or decades, or even two centuries away, John Lewis will be a founding father of this fuller, fairer, and better America.

Referring to Lewis' long history as a civil rights activist, Obama said he kept getting on buses and sitting at lunch tables, was arrested, and was marching "on a mission to change America".

He referred to a moment when Lewis and Bernard Lafayette got on a bus and refused to change seats when he was only 20 years old.

Imagine the courage of two people Malia's age – younger than my oldest daughter. Alone. Challenge an entire infrastructure of oppression. John was only 20 years old. But he shoved the center of the table every 20 years, making every effort that his example could challenge centuries of conventions and generations of brutal violence and countless daily outrages by African Americans.

Until his last day on earth, he not only assumed this responsibility, but made it his life's work.

"John Lewis's life was exceptional in many ways … And yet, as extraordinary as John was, here's the thing: John never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country could do .

"If we want our children to grow up in a democracy, not just with elections, but with real democracy, representative democracy, and a tolerant, vibrant, inclusive America of continual self-creation, we will have to do it more like John. We don't have to do everything he had to do because he did it for us. But we have to do something. & # 39;

President George W. Bush

President Bill Clinton

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton praised John Lewis during his memorial service in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, and crowned commemorations and tributes to the civil rights pioneer for a week.

The coffin of late US Congressman John Lewis is buried in a grave during a funeral at South View Cemetery after the memorial service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday

The coffin of late US Congressman John Lewis is buried in a grave during a funeral at South View Cemetery after the memorial service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday

Lewis’s coffin, decorated with a U.S. flag, arrived at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday morning before his funeral service

Lewis’s coffin, decorated with a U.S. flag, arrived at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday morning before his funeral service

Earlier, President George W. Bush had told mourners that the Americans were living in a "better and nobler country today" because of him, while Bill Clinton urged the United States to follow in the footsteps of the civil rights icon.

Politicians, dignitaries and other mourners signed up to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday to honor the life and legacy of the longtime congressman.

Both Bush and Clinton spoke of Lewis' humble beginnings on a farm in Troy, Alabama to become a leader of the civil rights movement and ultimately the man known as the "conscience of Congress".

Bush was the first of the three Presidents to speak about Lewis and say to the mourners, “John and I had our differences, but in America that John Lewis fought for and in the America I believe in, differences are inevitable and evidence of democracy in action.

We, the people, including the Congressman and Presidents, can have different views on how we can perfect our union, while sharing the belief that our nation, flawed as it is, is a good and noble. We live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis.

“We, the people, including Congressmen and Presidents, can have different views on how we can perfect our union while sharing the belief that our nation, flawed as it is, is a good and noble one.

"We live in a better and more noble country today because John Lewis and his steadfast belief in the power of God, the power of democracy and the power of love take us all to a higher level."

Bush described Lewis' character and said, “He always thought of others; He always thought of preaching the gospel in word and deed and insisting that hatred and fear be answered with love and hope. John Lewis believed in the Lord, he believed in humanity and he believed in America. & # 39;

Former President Bill Clinton praised Lewis’s decades of civil rights efforts and said he had an “uncanny ability to heal troubled waters”.

"John Lewis was a walking rebuke for people who thought," Well, we're not there yet, we've worked a long time, isn't it time to bag it up? "He kept moving. He hoped and introduced himself and lived and worked and moved for his beloved community," said Clinton.

“He had many good problems along the way, but let's not forget that he also developed an uncanny ability to cure troubled water. When he was angry and determined to cancel his opponents, he tried to get converts instead. He found the open hand better than the clenched fist.

"It is so fitting on the day of his service that he leaves our marching order to us – keep moving," added Clinton, referring to Lewis & # 39; last words published posthumously in the New York Times on Thursday.

"I just loved him. I will always do it, and I am so grateful that he stayed true to form: he left there and left us with marching orders, ”said Clinton. "I suggest … since he is close enough to God to keep an eye on the sparrow and us … we salute, get dressed and keep marching."

Former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush were among the mourners at the funeral service on Thursday

Former President Bill Clinton clapped along with other mourners when they celebrated Lewis' life on Thursday. His wife Hillary Clinton was absent from the funeral

Former President Barack Obama will take the laudatory speech for Lewis, who died on July 17 at the age of 80 after fighting pancreatic cancer. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are also expected to speak

The coffin was placed in front of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday before its funeral service

The coffin was placed in front of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday before its funeral service

Family members come to the service of the late senator and civil rights leader John Lewis

Family members come to the service of the late senator and civil rights leader John Lewis

House Nancy Pelosi also spoke, remembering Lewis' body lying in the U.S. Capitol earlier this week and a double rainbow appearing.

"There was that double rainbow over the coffin," she said. "He told us:" I am at home in heaven, I am at home in heaven. "We always knew that he worked on the side of the angels, and now he's with them. & # 39;

She continued that Lewis had bought his civil rights experience in Washington.

"He insisted on the truth in the United States Congress," she said. "When John Lewis served with us, he wanted us to see the civil rights movement and the rest through his eyes."

"He wanted us to see how important it is, how important it is to understand the spirit of nonviolence."

President Trump, who did not visit the body of the late Congressman when he was in the state this week, did not attend the funeral.

House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and several other members of Congress were among the mourners who took their places in front of an American-flagged coffin in the historic church where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.

Before the funeral began, church bells rang 80 times to indicate how many years Lewis was still alive.

George W. Bush, his wife Laura and Bill Clinton were among the mourners in the church. Hillary Clinton was absent. The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senator Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams and Senator Cory Booker were among the mourners.

More than an hour before the service began, dozens of people had gathered in front of the church, and many were sitting on garden chairs in front of a large screen outside the door, waiting to see the service.

The funeral took place on the same day that Lewis published an essay two days before his death in the New York Times saying that he was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the protesters had filled it with hope for the future .

The House of Representatives spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi sits on Thursday for the funeral of John Lewis

The House of Representatives spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi sits on Thursday for the funeral of John Lewis

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and her husband Derek attended the Lewis funeral

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and her husband Derek attended the Lewis funeral

Members of the congress were socially distant from each other during the funeral service and wore all masks

Members of the congress were socially distant from each other during the funeral service and wore all masks

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, left, speaks to Senator Nikema Williams before the funeral service

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, left, speaks to Senator Nikema Williams before the funeral service

BULL CONNOR: THE FACE OF THE SEGREGATION IN BIRMINGHAM, AL

Bull Connor was Commissioner for Public Security in Birmingham, Alabama for more than 20 years in the 1960s and was a staunch opponent of the civil rights movement.

He became an international figure and a symbol of oppression when he pulled police dogs and fired hoses that a civil rights activist, including children, advocated.

Connor is said to have protected members of the Ku Klux Klan when they committed racist violence and bombings.

Bull Connor was Commissioner for Public Security in Birmingham, Alabama for more than 20 years in the 1960s and was a staunch opponent of the civil rights movement

Bull Connor was Commissioner for Public Security in Birmingham, Alabama for more than 20 years in the 1960s and was a staunch opponent of the civil rights movement

In 1961, he reportedly ordered the Birmingham Police to stay away from Trailways bus station while Klansmen attacked the Freedom Riders.

The images of the dogs and tubes used against demonstrators were shared on television and published in newspapers across the country.

Some say it has helped change attitudes in favor of the civil rights movement.

He died of a stroke in 1973.

His funeral follows a week of commemoration. The coffin that carried his body was escorted over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Sunday, decades after his "blood Sunday" struck there and cast a national spotlight on the battle for racial equality. On Monday, his coffin was brought to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, where he was in the state until Tuesday.

He spent more than three decades in Congress and his district spanned most of Atlanta.

Shortly before his death, Lewis wrote an essay for the New York Times and asked to be published on the day of his funeral. In the essay, Lewis urged the nation to unite for justice and equality.

"When historians lift their pens to write 21st century history, let them say that it was your generation that finally put down the heavy burdens of hatred and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression, and war," Lewis wrote.

"So I tell you, go with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of eternal love be your guide."

He also remembered King's teachings: "He said we are all complicit if we tolerate injustice," Lewis wrote. & # 39; He said it was not enough to say that it was getting better gradually. He said that each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak out, and speak out.

"Although I may not be here with you, I ask you to respond to your heart's highest calling and to stand up for what you really believe in," added Lewis. “In my life I have done everything to show that the way of peace, the way of love and non-violence is the better way. Now it's your turn to let freedom ring. & # 39;

The bow of Lewis & # 39; Legacy of Activism will again be associated with Ebenezer's former pastor Martin Luther King Jr., whose sermons discovered Lewis while scanning the radio dial as a 15-year-old boy who grew up in what was then Alabama.

King continued to inspire Lewis & # 39; civil rights work for the next 65 years as he did during sometimes bloody marches, the Greyhound bus & # 39; Freedom Rides & # 39; fought against segregation through the south and later during his long tenure in the U.S. Congress.

When Lewis was 15, he heard King's sermons on WRMA, a radio station in Montgomery, Alabama, he recalled in an interview for the Southern Oral History Program.

"I saw him several times later in Nashville when I was in school between 1958 and 1961," said Lewis. "In a way, he was my leader."

King was "the person who influenced my life more than anyone else and made me what I was," Lewis wrote in his 1998 autobiography, Walking with the Wind.

In the summer of 1963, Lewis spoke to thousands of people during the March in Washington and spoke shortly before King delivered his speech, "I have a dream." Back then he was talking about black people who were beaten and detained by the police – topics that resonate vividly today.

"My friends, let's not forget that we're in a serious social revolution," Lewis told the crowd at the Washington Mall.

"To those who said," Be patient and wait, "we have long said that we cannot be patient," he added. "We don't want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now! We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by police officers. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail time and time again. & # 39;

In 1965, Alabama State Troopers beat Lewis in the city of Selma on a so-called "Blood Sunday".

GEORGE WALLACE: & # 39; NOW SEGREGATION, TOMORROW SEGREGATION, FOREVER SEGREGATION & # 39;

George Wallace was one of the leading figures against the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The four-time governor of Alabama said, "I am drawing the line in the dust and throwing the glove at the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" when he was elected in 1962.

George Wallace was one of the leading figures against the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The four-time governor of Alabama said, "I am drawing the line in the dust and throwing the glove at the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" when he was elected in 1962.

George Wallace was one of the leading figures against the civil rights movement in the 1960s and fought to limit the powers of the federal government.

The four-time governor of Alabama said: "I am drawing the line in the dust and throwing the glove at the feet of tyranny, and I say: segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" when he was elected in office in 1962.

Eleven years earlier, the US Supreme Court had issued its landmark decision on the Brown Vs Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas, arguing that the education of black and white children was unconstitutional.

The Brown case meant that the University of Alabama had to be separated. But in the years that followed, hundreds of African Americans applied for admission, but all were rejected. The university worked with the police to determine if they were disqualified or intimidated applicants if it failed.

In 1963, three African-Americans with perfect qualifications – Vivian Malone Jones, Dave McGlathery and James Hood – applied and were not intimidated. In early June, a federal district judge ordered approval and prohibited Governor Wallace from interfering.

Then, on June 11th, Malone and Hood came to register and Wallace tried to keep his promise. Federal marshals asked Wallace to step aside, but Wallace interrupted Katzenbach and refused by giving a speech on state rights.

General Henry Graham needed to order Wallace to step aside and say, "Sir, it is my sad duty to ask you to step aside on the orders of the President of the United States."

Wallace also ran four times for the presidency – three times as a democrat and once as an independent. During his 1968 campaign as an independent, he slandered blacks, students and people who called for an end to the Vietnam War.

He ran on his own ticket and won five southern states – or 46 votes.

In 1972 he returned to the Democrats because of the great support of the population and was vehemently opposed to "forced buses" – or the attempt to integrate schools.

During the campaign, he was shot in Laurel, Maryland, paralyzed from the waist down, and wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.

He died of Parkinson's disease in 1998.

In front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, people watch the spokeswoman for the house, Nancy Pelosi, speak at the memorial service of the late Congressman John Lewis in Atlanta

In front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, people watch the spokeswoman for the house, Nancy Pelosi, speak at the memorial service of the late Congressman John Lewis in Atlanta

A mourner raises his fist as the hearse bears the icon of civil rights. The late MP John Lewis arrives on Thursday afternoon after his funeral service

A mourner raises his fist as the hearse bears the icon of civil rights. The late MP John Lewis arrives on Thursday afternoon after his funeral service

A large crowd gathered in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church to watch Lewis & # 39; worship on a large screen

A large crowd gathered in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church to watch Lewis & # 39; worship on a large screen

More than an hour before the service began, dozens of people had gathered in front of the church, and many were sitting on garden chairs in front of a large screen outside the door, waiting to see the service

More than an hour before the service began, dozens of people had gathered in front of the church, and many were sitting on garden chairs in front of a large screen outside the door, waiting to see the service

Patrice Houston and Isaac Ferguson Dillard stand together with others in front of the church before the funeral service

Patrice Houston and Isaac Ferguson Dillard stand together with others in front of the church before the funeral service

"In the last few hours of my life, you have inspired me": The icon of civil rights, John Lewis, urged Black Lives Matters' protesters to "redeem the soul of America" ​​and "answer the highest calling of your heart" in one powerful essay that was written shortly before his death

By Luke Kenton for DailyMail.com

Civil rights icon John Lewis said the demonstrators had given him hope in his final hours in a powerful essay that the New York Times was supposed to publish on the day of his funeral.

Lewis, der heute in der Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta getrauert und gefeiert wird, nahm die Botschaft als Teil eines kraftvollen Aufrufs zum Handeln auf, den er nur zwei Tage vor seinem Tod verfasst hatte.

"Während meine Zeit hier jetzt zu Ende ist, möchte ich, dass Sie wissen, dass Sie mich in den letzten Tagen und Stunden meines Lebens inspiriert haben", eröffnete Lewis.

„Sie haben mich mit Hoffnung auf das nächste Kapitel der großen amerikanischen Geschichte erfüllt, als Sie Ihre Macht eingesetzt haben, um einen Unterschied in unserer Gesellschaft zu bewirken.

„Obwohl ich vielleicht nicht hier bei dir bin, fordere ich dich auf, auf die höchste Berufung deines Herzens zu antworten und für das einzustehen, woran du wirklich glaubst. In meinem Leben habe ich alles getan, um zu zeigen, dass der Weg des Friedens, der Weg der Liebe und der Gewaltfreiheit der bessere Weg ist “, fügte er hinzu. "Jetzt sind Sie an der Reihe, die Freiheit läuten zu lassen."

In dem Stück erzählte Lewis von seinen eigenen Befürchtungen über das Lynchen von Emmett Till im Jahr 1955 und wie sein Tod ihn auf den Weg zur Bürgerrechtsbewegung unter der Führung von Martin Luther King führte.

Im Juni besuchte Lewis das neu benannte Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, das er als "mächtiges Kunstwerk" bezeichnete. Er wurde am nächsten Tag ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert

Im Juni besuchte Lewis das neu benannte Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, das er als "mächtiges Kunstwerk" bezeichnete. Er wurde am nächsten Tag ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert

»Emmett Till war mein George Floyd. Er war mein Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland und Breonna Taylor «, sagte Lewis. „Er war 14, als er getötet wurde, und ich war damals erst 15 Jahre alt. Ich werde niemals den Moment vergessen, in dem es so klar wurde, dass er leicht ich hätte sein können. & # 39;

Im Juni besuchte Lewis das neu benannte Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, das er als "mächtiges Kunstwerk" bezeichnete.

In seinem Aufsatz schrieb er, obwohl er einen Tag nach dem Besuch ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert wurde: "Ich musste es nur selbst sehen und fühlen, dass nach vielen Jahren stillen Zeugnisses die Wahrheit immer noch voranschreitet."

Lewis, eine prominente Persönlichkeit in der Bürgerrechtsbewegung und seit mehr als drei Jahrzehnten Vertreter eines Bezirks in der Region Atlanta im Haus, starb am 17. Juli an Bauchspeicheldrüsenkrebs. Er war 80 Jahre alt.

Lewis wurde in Troy, Alabama, als Sohn von Pächtern geboren und begann bereits in jungen Jahren mit Bürgerrechtsaktivismus. Er half am 7. März 1965 im Alter von 25 Jahren, einen Marsch für Stimmrechte auf der Edmund-Pettus-Brücke in Selma, Alabama, zu leiten.

Der Tag wurde als "Blutiger Sonntag" bekannt, nachdem Lewis und zahlreiche andere Demonstranten von der Polizei brutal angegriffen wurden und ihn mit einem gebrochenen Schädel zurückließen.

Bilder vom Marsch verblüfften die Nation und trugen dazu bei, die Unterstützung für das Stimmrechtsgesetz von 1965 zu stärken, das von Präsident Lyndon B. Johnson gesetzlich unterzeichnet wurde.

Die Ikone enthüllte in seinem letzten Aufsatz, wie der Lynch-Tod von Emmett Till der Auslöser für seinen lebenslangen Kampf für Gleichheit und Gerechtigkeit war.

Lewis (zweiter von links) wurde in Troy, Alabama, als Sohn von Aktienhändlern geboren und begann bereits in jungen Jahren mit Bürgerrechtsaktivismus. Er half am 7. März 1965 im Alter von 25 Jahren, einen Marsch für Stimmrechte auf der Edmund-Pettus-Brücke in Selma, Alabama, zu leiten

Lewis (zweiter von links) wurde in Troy, Alabama, als Sohn von Aktienhändlern geboren und begann bereits in jungen Jahren mit Bürgerrechtsaktivismus. Er half am 7. März 1965 im Alter von 25 Jahren, einen Marsch für Stimmrechte auf der Edmund-Pettus-Brücke in Selma, Alabama, zu leiten

Lewis marschiert Hand in Hand mit Barack Obama und Michelle Obama über die Edmund-Pettus-Brücke, um den 50. Jahrestag des Bürgerrechtsmarsches von Selma nach Montgomery zu feiern

Lewis is seen marching hand-in-hand with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march

'He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me,' Lewis wrote.

He said he spent those days as a young black teenager constrained in 'an imaginary prison' of fear, with the lingering sense that brutality could be committed at any time 'for now understandable reason'.

'Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle,' Lewis wrote.

'Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare.'

Lewis said he was searching for a way out – or a way in – when he heard the voice of Martin Luther King on the radio, which inspired him into activism.

'He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice,' Lewis recounted.

'When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself,' he continued.

Lewis urged the next generation to continue getting into 'good trouble, necessary trouble' for 'now it is your turn to let freedom ring'. He was arrested more than 40 times during various demonstrations

John Lewis seen being bundled into the back of a police car aged 24 after a protest in Nashville

Lewis urged the next generation to continue getting into 'good trouble, necessary trouble' for 'now it is your turn to let freedom ring'. He was arrested more than 40 times during various demonstrations

In order to survive as a 'unified nation', Lewis insisted that we must first discover what 'so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.'

Towards the end of his essay, Lewis called on the next generation of activists to carry on the mantle of civil rights and to continue the tradition of causing 'good trouble'.

'Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble,' he wrote.

Lewis said that voting and participating in the democratic process are two of the easiest and most important ways of helped to enact substantial change, calling the right to vote the most 'powerful nonviolent change agent' you can have in a democracy.

'When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war,' he urged.

'So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.'

Lewis' essay was published by the Times just hours ahead of his funeral service, which will take place at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday.

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