During my trip to Auburn Avenue I also came across this mural of civil rights activist and Georgia Representative John Lewis. I took this picture before the ignorant remarks were made about the congressman by our current president, and I believe the current context makes this image even more important.
John Lewis is someone who was willing to give everything for the cause of equality for all people, regardless of the color of their skin. He was beaten for this cause, and didn't stop, but instead continued the fight, heading the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), becoming a member of the Atlanta City Council, and then taking his message to the United States Congress. You can read his full biography at johnlewis.house.gov/john-lewis.
As individuals and as a society, it's important that we are careful about who we hold up as our heroes. John Lewis will always be a hero for us here in Atlanta, and for people across the United States and beyond. No one, no matter what their title may be, can take that away. We get to choose who our heroes are, the examples that we will follow, each and every day.
There is a quote next to this mural from John Lewis's speech during the March on Washington in 1963. I will leave you with the congressman's own words that are just as relevant today as they were over 50 years ago, as we continue to reach for a country and a world in which all people are truly created equal.
"I appeal to all of you to get into this great revolution that is sweeping this nation. Get in and stay in the streets of every city, every village and hamlet of this nation until true freedom comes, until the revolution of 1776 is complete." —John Lewis