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John Lewis Dies, Age 80

Photo Credit: NAACP

The death of Representative John Lewis on Friday, July 17th was confirmed in a statement by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Lewis had announced on Dec. 29th that he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was a fighter and he vowed to fight the disease.  “I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life,” he said.

On March 7, 1965, he led one of the most famous marches in American history. Mr. Lewis marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., into a waiting line of state troopers in riot gear.

Ordered to disperse, the protesters silently stood their ground. The troopers responded with tear gas and bullwhips and rubber tubing wrapped in barbed wire. In the melee, which came to be known as Bloody Sunday, a trooper cracked Mr. Lewis’s skull with a billy club, knocking him to the ground, then hit him again when he tried to get up.

Lewis’ lifelong activism can be summarized by his post on Twitter in 2018:

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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