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David Freudberg Interview with John Lewis: Man of Conscience

When America lost John Lewis, who died last weekend at age 80, part of our nation’s moral compass was silenced. Many have learned of his remarkable life story: the child of poor Alabama sharecroppers who — through deep moral convictions — came to be known as the “conscience of Congress.” At age 23 he addressed the nation on live national television on the stage where Rev. Martin Luther King delivered his I Have a Dream speech that day.

Along with other “Freedom Riders” he was jailed and beaten. And he suffered a savage attack by Alabama police on a nonviolent protest for equality. But John Lewis would not be deterred. He went on to serve 33 years in Congress. For a 2007 Humankind documentary about democracy, I visited Mr. Lewis at the Capitol to record a conversation.

You can hear the full interview at our site. Let me know your thoughts on this

John Lewis will lie in state at the Capitol next week. He was a decent, humble, visionary leader. We need his moral clarity and his courage now. As we mourn John Lewis’ departure we pause to honor his life.

Best wishes,

David Freudberg
Host of Humankind

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