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Civil Rights Icon Speaks In Springfield

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

A civil rights icon made a stop in Springfield this week to talk about activism and his new books. John Lewis, a Congressman from Georgia, is the last living member of a group of civil rights leaders known as the "Big Six." Martin Luther King Jr. was also in that group, and mentored Lewis. Lewis chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which registered many black voters in the South. He was seriously injured by police during the Selma to Montgomery marches.

Lewis spoke at UIS about his trilogy of graphic novels called “March" and the ongoing need for activism: "When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just - you have a moral obligation a mission and a mandate to stand up, speak up - and speak out, and make a little noise." Lewis was joined by the co-author Andrew Aydin, and the illustrator of the “March" books, Nate Powell. The third is set for release by next summer.

You can find the full audio of Lewis' presentation here. It is expected to be posted by Wednesday (Oct. 21st) A.M.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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