CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith & Life for the Years of Winter…
Congressman John Lewis spoke at MSU four years ago when our granddaughter was a freshman there. After his talk, she told him that her grandfather had marched into Montgomery with him—and a lot of other people—at the conclusion of the Selma march. He told her to thank me. Good grief! John Lewis thanking me? We ALL should be thanking him.
Yesterday was the 53rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday. It was not the only time John Lewis was beaten and bloodied. That happened a lot back then to people who dared to champion civil rights for all citizens, including black folks. But it was a pivotal day in the consciousness of the nation and in the turn-around in the struggle for civil rights.
Someone noted on Twitter yesterday that we overlook the significance of John Lewis because he is still with us, still alive, still working for civil rights for all. He is truly a legendary figure. He’ll be recognized more for his importance when he’s dead; that’s the way we do these things.
But we need to see him now for what he represents—that there are always plenty of people who “honor” people like Lewis with their talk but want to turn back the clock to a time when people like he was then—young, poor, and black—have diminished rights, have to sit—at best—at the kids’ table. We all need to thank Lewis and the other pioneers of Civil Rights by joining them in the continuing struggle against the domination system of our time.
A fuller account of my participation in the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march is in my book, THE STRANGE CALLING.