John Lewis (1940-2020)

John Lewis, whom we filmed in 2016, was nearly beaten to death in Selma, Alabama in 1965, so that all Americans could vote. He made history. What will WE make? And when?

Footage: John Lewis speaking at the African American Museum in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016. Filmed by Zach D Roberts for the Palast Investigative Fund.

Transcript

There are forces trying to take us back to another period. Trying to make it harder and more difficult for people to participate in the democratic process, and we must not allow that to happen. There’s been too much blood, too many people died. Black and white, who gave their very lives…

Let me remind some of you who are so young, in the Mississippi Sumer Project, 1964, three young men that I knew, Andy Goodman, Mickey Schwerner, white, James Chaney, African American, were out just trying to investigate the burning of an African American church to be used for a voter registration workshop. They were detained by the Sheriff, taken to jail, turned over to the Klan, where they were beaten, shot again.

And I tell young people, young children all the time, that these three young men didn’t die in Vietnam, or the Middle East, or Africa, or in Europe, they died right here in their own country, trying to get people to participate in the democratic process.

— Rep. John Lewis, speaking at the African American Museum in Philadelphia during the DNC in 2016

Greg Palast

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