Farewell to Lewis lays bare America’s modern-day woes

The funeral of the civil rights activist took place at a pivotal point in the US’s cultural and racial history

2nd August, 2020
Farewell to Lewis lays bare America’s modern-day woes
John Lewis (second from left, front row) with Martin Luther King (centre front, in dark suit) and other African American civil rights activists during their legendary march in Selma, Alabama in March 1965 Picture: Getty

On January 20, 2009, as Barack Obama made his way to the podium where he would be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, he stopped to embrace a diminutive man on the Capitol steps. For Congressman John Lewis, Obama’s inauguration represented something that must have seemed unimaginable 44 years earlier.

In Alabama on March 7, 1965, the young civil rights activist led 600 peaceful protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and into...

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