Dear John Lewis,

As I sit in my office watching your home going celebration, I would like to say thank you for your contributions to our government, civil rights, and for the culture.

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I remember as a child growing up in the city of Chicago where I would go to the DuSable Museum of African-American History where my grandfather worked, and he would show me exhibits, and videos of the Freedom Riders, the March on Washington, and of Bloody Sunday in Selma and tell me of his own experiences down south during that time.

Sir, I knew from that moment I wanted to make a difference in some fashion for African-Americans, which is why I've gotten into communications to let my voice be heard and join various organizations like the Urban League, and NAACP, just to name a few to get a clear understanding of what I was preparing for in the fight for civil rights.


Then I received the opportunity of a lifetime when I was invited to attend the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma. I didn't get the opportunity to be there with you and President Obama to watch you cross over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but when I got there the following day I felt the aura of our ancestors in that place.

My life was forever changed as I stood on hallowed ground as my imagination took me back to that day where you and other freedom fighters were met with such hostility and violence from individuals who stood in the way of justice.

Shawn Knight | TSM

As I made my way to the Edmund Pettus Bridge with my sons, I couldn't be anymore proud of your accomplishments then and now as you take your place into the 'Hall of Faith' and I look forward to the day where the Edmund Pettus Bridge will be named in your honor.

Your death has rocked my core and I immediately started to shed tears as another legend in the fight of civil rights has made his transition, but I immediately started to think about what could I do to show my appreciation to you.

Then I remembered a quote you said and it all made sense:

I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s and find a way to get in the way. To find a way to get in trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble.

 

My vow to you Sir is to continue to find a way to get in trouble.  That good trouble, necessary trouble to pick up where you left off until the job is done.

Well done U.S. Rep. John Lewis!  You can now rest.