John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80

But Mr. Lewis misplaced his household’s good will. When his mother and father realized that he had been arrested in Nashville, he wrote, they had been ashamed. They had taught him as a toddler to simply accept the world as he discovered it. When he requested them about indicators saying “Colored Only,” they advised him, “That’s the way it is, don’t get in trouble.”

But as an grownup, he stated, after he met Dr. King and Rosa Parks, whose refusal to surrender her bus seat to a white man was a flash level for the civil rights motion, he was impressed to “get into trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Getting into “good trouble” turned his motto for all times. A documentary movie, “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” was launched this month.

Despite the shame he had introduced on his household, he felt that he had been “involved in a holy crusade” and that getting arrested had been “a badge of honor,” he stated in a 1979 oral historical past interview housed at Washington University in St. Louis.

In 1961, when he graduated from the seminary, he joined a Freedom Ride organized by the Congress of Racial Equality, often called CORE. He and others had been crushed bloody once they tried to enter a whites-only ready room at the bus station in Rock Hill, S.C. Later, he was jailed in Birmingham, Ala., and crushed once more in Montgomery, the place a number of others had been badly injured and one was paralyzed for all times.

“If there was anything I learned on that long, bloody bus trip of 1961,” he wrote in his memoir, “it was this — that we were in for a long, bloody fight here in the American South. And I intended to stay in the middle of it.”

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