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We Mourn the Passing of Congressman John Lewis

Photo credit: NAACP

The passing of freedom fighter, civil rights warrior and political icon Congressman John Lewis ends a chapter in the history of this country that has no comparison.  Congressman Lewis was fearless from his youngest age as a member of the  ‘dream team,’ which was led by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Congressman Lewis risked his life many times during the Civil Rights Movement, marched across the John Pettus Bridge on what became known as ‘Bloody Sunday,’ as one of thousands of peaceful protestors who were met with dogs, fire hoses and beatings. Lewis was arrested numerous times, bloodied and bandaged and photographed for his mugshot with a smile.

Why was he smiling?  Because he said he knew he was on the ‘right side of history.’

“So, what do we do in the wake of our warrior brother’s passing?  We fight although tired, we march although whipped, we shout although weary and take on the battle for equity and justice until we die.”

Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams, Owner & Publisher, New York Trend

As a congressman, representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District since 1987, Lewis fought and won the battles of race, inequality and injustice for those who trusted him with their fate.

In congress, Lewis was known as the ‘conscience’ of the House of Representatives. There were times he shouted, he corrected, he forged, he taught and set an example for both Republicans and his fellow Democrats on how a freedom fighter operated – with knowledge, with determination and with conviction.

Congressman John Lewis leaves a legacy that will not be matched, not in this lifetime. His courage was unfettered by controversy or any presidency. As former president, Barack Obama placed the Medal of Freedom around his neck, it portrayed a moment in history that will echo throughout the halls of the White House forever.

“GET IN SOME GOOD TROUBLE…” #goodtrouble

– Congressman John Lewis

As the owner and publisher of a historically black newspaper,  I watched and listened to Congressman John Lewis whose words and actions reminded me of why I still love owning my newspaper. Owning New York Trend at a time like this, when the opportunity presents to honor a hero who changed the course of history, makes my struggles and battles seem minimal compared to the battles that John Lewis fought. But his death also speaks volumes, reminding me that although he fought a lifetime of  battles, we have not won the war.

Injustice still runs rampant f in this country, throughout our legal system, our courts, it crushes the lone victim and operates for many, especially African Americans in a manner that makes ‘freedom and justice for all,’ a sham. I know this  personally to be true.

So, what do we do in the wake of our warrior brother’s passing?  We fight although tired, we march although whipped, we shout although weary and take on the battle for equity and justice until we die.

In the words of Congressman John Lewis, “

“injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

On behalf of the staff of New York Trend, we express our condolences to the family and friends of the late Congressman Joh Lewis. May he rest peacefully.

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