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John Lewis and the Miami connection

DICKDICK Wealthy Alum
edited July 2020 in Miami Memos
One of my longtime personal heroes, congressman John Lewis of Georgia ( 34 years) died of cancer yesterday.  As a high school student whose two big interests were sports and government/politics, I remember watching the news highlights of John Lewis leading "600 peaceful, orderly protesters marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.  They were demonstrating for voting rights...March 7, 1965.  " The marchers were attacked by Alabama State Troopers in a brutal confrontation that became known as "Bloody Sunday" and is depicted in an excellent movie titled "Selma".  John Lewis was severely beaten by a cop with a billy club that day.

He had been beaten many times during " non violent protest marches" in the years before Selma.  By 1964 he was the leader of SNCC ( Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee).  Together with CORE  ( Congress on Racial Equality) they organized college students to be trained and sent to the segregated South and register blacks to vote.  The training was held on Western Campus ( now a part of Miami U) and 800 young college students ventured South, probably about half white and half black. Three of those students James Chaney 21, Andrew Goodman 20, and Michael Schwerner 24) were murdered by the Klu Klux Klan.  On the Western Campus there is a Freedom Summer of 1964 Memorial to those three students and 3 trees were planted in their memory.

A couple of years ago ( 2018) Miami started giving a "Freedom Summer of '64 Award" and John Lewis was the first recipient.  In his acceptance speech, he encouraged us all " to find a way to get in the way, and never, ever give up".

As I said, he has been a longtime personal hero of mine.  As we take down monuments to traitors who fought to maintain slavery of black people, he would be an excellent person to honor with a statue as someone who used  nonviolence in the face of brutal personal beatings to advance the cause of freedom and liberty. 


dudis41grumpy1redhawk11JohnnyMacNYCRedHawkgentbaseball12skin66RedseaMooreHawkLove_and_Honorand 3 others.

Comments

  • mollauttmollautt Wealthy Alum
    edited July 2020
    N/m
  • DICKDICK Wealthy Alum
    Edited this morning to correct Alabama to Georgia and change the word tear to take in the last paragraph.  Laxdaddy is then OK with it.  mol is hung up on the word traitor, which is a side argument at best, but is otherwise in favor of honoring John Lewis.  I do think that otherwise everybody is in agreement that John Lewis would be a great person to honor with a statue.  Late last night I heard that  in the first day after his death over 400,000 people  had signed a petition to change the name of that bridge in Selma from Edmund Pettus bridge to John Lewis bridge.  Edmund Pettus was a confederate officer and later a Senator from Alabama.
    laxdaddy
  • DICKDICK Wealthy Alum
    edited July 2020
    In some clever programming, the movie "Selma" is on this morning on FX... started at 7:30.
  • EDDIEEDDIE Wealthy Alum
    Mississippi Burning was a great movie. I never saw Selma though.
  • mollauttmollautt Wealthy Alum
    edited July 2020
    N/m
  • EDDIEEDDIE Wealthy Alum
    "I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now."   (His battle with cancer)
  • FredFred Dodds God
    I have read in articles that many locals would prefer not to name the bridge for Lewis, not for any lack of appreciation for him, but in part due to a consideration of local civil rights leaders. There is also an economic concern, in that so many people readily recognize the name of the Pettus bridge, locals don’t want to risk the tourism that comes from visitors wanting to see the well-known bridge.
  • DICKDICK Wealthy Alum
    The second concern seems completely bogus to me.  John Lewis would be a big draw, I would think. If they have a more deserving local leader and name it after him, OK.    If they leave the name Pettus, they are just carrying on their racist history.  Perhaps that is their real reason.
  • EDDIEEDDIE Wealthy Alum
    Interesting. I never heard of Pettis. Not a good character!

    Part Bio:


    "After the war, Edmund Pettus returned to Alabama and resumed his law practice in Selma. Pettus served as chairman of the state delegation to the Democratic National Convention for more than two decades. In 1877, during the final year of Reconstruction, Pettus was named Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. With earnings from his law practice, he bought farm land.

    In 1896, at the age of 75, Pettus ran for U.S. Senate as a Democrat and won, beating incumbent James L. Pugh. The state legislature, rather than state voters, elected United States Senators then. His campaign relied on his successes in organizing and popularizing the Alabama Klan and his prominent opposition to the constitutional amendments following the Civil War that elevated former slaves to the status of free citizens."

    (Wik)
    JC5DICK
  • FredFred Dodds God
    DICK said:

    The second concern seems completely bogus to me.  John Lewis would be a big draw, I would think. If they have a more deserving local leader and name it after him, OK.    If they leave the name Pettus, they are just carrying on their racist history.  Perhaps that is their real reason.

    The locals being quoted were all black people who feared the lack of recognition of the Lewis Bridge vs the Pettus Bridge. 
    I have no preference whatsoever - just relaying the article,

  • thechuck_2112thechuck_2112 Wealthy Alum
    Can we please not now turn this into a thread about renaming bridges
  • skin66skin66 Wealthy Alum
    My dentist gave me a choice between a bridge and an implant. I chose the bridge. Hindsight being what it is, I think I should have chosen the implant. My bridge is named mistake. It is now 5:45 am and I am off to play some pickleball. BTW Chuck, this has been a good thread. Mr Lewis was a brave and intelligent man. I hope my too early to get up post doesn’t ruin the thread. Feel free to delete it.
    thechuck_2112dave67Quinoaburger
  • EDDIEEDDIE Wealthy Alum
    edited July 2020
    Neither sounds like fun. Are you completely out for each option?
  • DICKDICK Wealthy Alum
    skin66 said:

    My dentist gave me a choice between a bridge and an implant. I chose the bridge. Hindsight being what it is, I think I should have chosen the implant. My bridge is named mistake. It is now 5:45 am and I am off to play some pickleball. BTW Chuck, this has been a good thread. Mr Lewis was a brave and intelligent man. I hope my too early to get up post doesn’t ruin the thread. Feel free to delete it.

    Ban him Chuck! lol
  • KoheenKoheen Havighurstite
    John Lewis was actually the speaker at my Miami commencement (2007). RIP
    DICK
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