Hollywood actor Martin Lawrence and talk show host Ellen Degeneres pays homage to Rep John Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement and later US congressman, who passed away yesterday. He was 80 years old.
Lewis was one of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King Jr, and helped organise the historic 1963 March on Washington. As a congressman he was a Georgia Democrat, and represented an area which covered most of its capital Atlanta. In December 2019 Lewis announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Actor Martin Lawrence took to his social media and shared, “So sad to hear of the passing of such a prolific figure who has done so much for our culture. My prayers and condolences go out to the family of John Lewis #johnlewis”
Ellen wrote, “Representative John Lewis was born in a time when people were fighting for Civil Rights, and he died in a time when people were fighting for Civil Rights. He worked his entire life to make our country a better place. I’m honored that I recently had the chance to talk with him. My sympathy to his family and to us all”
During the civil rights movement, Lewis was one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and then became its chairman from 1963 to 1966. He co-organised and spoke at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the rally at which Dr King delivered his historic I Have a Dream speech.