Wednesday, January 18, 2017
March With John Lewis
Where did whatisname go? No Lion Lamb blog musings in three weeks! This was not my intention but after Christmas I had a bout of the flu that left me feeling so miserable my blog was the least of my concerns. Now I'm back to work and back to blogging.
On Monday the three volume graphic novel set of John Lewis' memoir arrived. Appropriately it was Martin Luther King Day in the United States. Lewis was a courageous 23-year-old civil rights activist when he walked on to the bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965 with Martin Luther King Jr and many others. Lewis was among those brutally attacked by police who would not let them pass.
Lewis was also one of the Freedom Riders, who toured the South at great risk to personal safety, encouraging black voter registration. In an interview with CNN during the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, Lewis recounted the sheer amount of violence he and the 12 other original Freedom Riders endured. In Anniston, Alabama the bus was fire-bombed after Ku Klux Klan members deflated its tires, forcing it to come to a stop. In Birmingham, the Riders were mercilessly beaten, and in Montgomery an angry mob met the bus, and Lewis was hit in the head with a wooden crate. "It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious," said Lewis, remembering the incident.
Lewis spoke at the same huge March on Washington gathering where MLK delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream Speech." Lewis has served for more than 30 years in Congress and is a respected political statesman, except for Thug-Elect Donald Trump, who criticized Lewis in his usual classless way over the weekend.
I heard Lewis interviewed recently and he was charming. He mentioned that as a child he had aspirations to be a pastor and would preach to the chickens on the farm where he grew up. He noted wryly that while the chickens never shouted "Amen!' they were often more attentive than his human colleagues through the years.
I was delighted to read that after Trump's denigration of Lewis the graphic books quickly sold out on Amazon. Without intending to do so, Lewis trumped Trump.