John Lewis: #GoodTrouble
Exhibit, Geisel Library, main floor, west wing
Digital Exhibit, Geisel Library, main floor, east wing
“Sometimes you have to get in trouble–good trouble, necessary trouble–to make a way out of no way.” – John Lewis
Georgia Congressman John Lewis has been a longtime advocate for civil and human rights. His story starts in rural Alabama where he honed his preaching skills by preaching to his chickens. In college, he helped organize sit-ins in Nashville. Students occupied lunch counters and Freedom Riders rode interstate buses through the South, risking their lives to test new anti-segregation laws. In 1963 he was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. In 1965, Lewis was front and center on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday” when Alabama state troopers attacked folks peacefully marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
This activism leads to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Lewis has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since 1986 where he continues to be a supporter for justice and non-violent protest. More recently he has been a strong advocate for immigration policy reform and gun safety legislation.
The Library created two exhibits to highlight his long-standing commitment to activism. The exhibits include materials from Lewis’ March trilogy, as well as materials from the library’s collection on the Civil Rights Movement.