Washington, D.C. – In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday evening, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) honored the life and legacy of Rep. John Lewis (GA-05). A transcript of her remarks is below, and video is available here.
Rep. Sewell: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and outstanding legacy of our colleague, friend, mentor, and my hero, Congressman John Robert Lewis.
Growing up as a little girl in Selma, Alabama, John’s incredible legacy was a hero’s tale as familiar to me as any Bible story or family lore.
As a little girl singing in the choir, Children’s Choir at Brown Chapel AME Church, my home church. The church where John and so many foot soldiers would come time and time again to honor the legacy of the Bloody Sunday march.
But to know John was to know a man without ego, who, despite his many well-deserved accolades and successes, loved every person that he met. He looked them in the eye. Can’t you hear him? “My brother. My sister,” he would say.
John loved this country more than any other person I have met, and it was his deep-seated patriotism that will live on.
His legacy, indeed, was the Voting Rights Act. And we in this body can do something about that. Yes, we can name things for John, but the biggest name – the biggest thing we can do is re-name H.R. 4. We should call it the John Robert Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2020, and fully restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That is the legacy of John Lewis. He gave us a roadmap.
Can’t you hear him? Never give up. Never give in. Keep your eyes on the prize. Keep the faith.