Sunday, March 13, 2016

John Lewis is coming to my school tomorrow

Image result for john lewis
Congressman John Lewis is coming to my school tomorrow.  The timing couldn't have been better, because tomorrow we start our lessons on the early Civil Rights Movement.  So I'm going to focus my lesson tomorrow morning on how Congressman Lewis's activism and leadership is a window into that era.  Among the important facts and resources I'm going to share with my students are the following:
  • He organized student sit-ins to protest racial segregation.  In this video (1:38) he describes how he and his college classmates staged those sit-ins, and how people responded (by putting cigarettes into their hair, pouring hot beverages on them, spitting on them, and forcibly pulling them off the lunch counters).
  • He was a Freedom Rider (drawing attention to segregated southern bus facilities) and faced a beating.
  • He was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
  • He was keynote speaker at the 1963 March on Washington.
  • He helped organize and lead the Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights, where he was attacked by state troopers after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday.
(This list of John Lewis's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement comes from CNN.)

Most of us pass through history; John Lewis helped make it.  My thanks to Rob Kerr (@rjkerr), a respected colleague, for arranging Congressman Lewis's timely and important visit to our school.


Lauren Schreiber Brown said...

How fabulous for your students! Wish I could meet him....

Paulina Cameron said...

I consider John Lewis to be the hero of the modern time. Although he is one of the people who has participated in some great, life-changing events in the past, I believe the lessons we have learned from his contribution to work with Dr. King are priceless and actual today as well. I guess that after having met such a wonderful and inspiring person the students will not think about where to order essay online instead they will be encouraged to express their opinions freely.