Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis to speak at ETHS

David Fishman, Assistant Summer Editor

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) will speak next week at Evanston Township High School about his trilogy of graphic novels focused on his experiences as a longtime civil rights activist.

The novels, co-authored by Lewis and his congressional digital director, Andrew Aydin, chronicle his life as a national leader in the Civil Rights Movement. The pair will speak at ETHS on Aug. 29, where students in the Class of 2020, faculty and staff will receive copies of “March: Book One” to read for the upcoming school year.

“Congressman Lewis is one of the great civil rights leaders who helped change the course of history in this country,” superintendent Eric Witherspoon told The Daily in an email. “His life’s story and his life’s work provides all our students with vital history lessons as well as serving as a role model for all our students.”

Lewis first joined the Civil Rights Movement as a seminary student in Nashville, Tennessee, where he participated in Freedom Rides and organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters. In 1963, Lewis was appointed chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and helped plan the March on Washington.

He has since received numerous awards for his social justice work and is known as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., and A. Philip Randolph.

Earlier this summer, following a mass shooting in Florida which left 49 dead, Lewis led a 25-hour sit-in on the House chamber floor demanding a vote on gun control legislation. The dramatic episode, live-streamed by Lewis and about 40 other House Democrats, resulted in little change, but was widely covered by media.

Lewis and Aydin will speak at 7 p.m. in the ETHS auditorium. The event, sponsored by the Family Action Network, will be free and open to the public.

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