NNPA NEWSWIRE — The legislator, freedom fighter and justice warrior, who was famously beaten, bloodied and arrested in Selma, Alabama — and in other cities across the Jim Crow South — during the struggle for civil rights and racial equality, was 80. His death came just hours after another the passing of another civil rights icon, Rev. C.T. Vivian, who was 95.
Rev. C.T. Vivian
NNPA NEWSWIRE — The 1965 Selma march was led by John Lewis. Lewis was perhaps the last remaining voice of moral authority from the civil rights era. Voting rights remains a challenge in the U.S. Lewis was on the front lines of that effort which was resisted by white racists in the South attempting to stifle Black voting power for decades. Lewis’ efforts and the increase in Black voting registration of African Americans in the South changed U.S. politics forever. The power of Black voters was first seen nationally with the election of President Jimmy Carter in 1976.
NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Some thoughts on the Reverend C.T. Vivian, a pioneer who pulled America closer to our founding ideals and a friend I will miss greatly,” Former President Barack Obama wrote in a statement. “We’ve lost a founder of modern America, a pioneer who shrunk the gap between reality and our constitutional ideals of equality and freedom.”