Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 139 John LewisReflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 139 John Lewis

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 139 John Lewis

Descriptive Summary

Title: Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 139 John Lewis
Creator Lewis, John, 1940 Feb. 21-
Dates 12 May 2012
Extent 1.0 interview
Repository Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
AbstractJohn Lewis is best known for his civil rights activism in the 1960s and, since 1986, his work as a U.S. Representative. In this interview John Lewis discusses his early years in rural Alabama and his work as a civil rights leader and U.S. Representative. He covers his early activism and education in non-violence in Nashville as a student of Fisk University's American Baptist Theological Seminary, his participitation in the Freedom Rides, and his work organizing demonstrations as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He discusses his relationships with other civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea Williams, and James Lawson, and his involvment with sit-ins and marches, including his experiences being assaulted and jailed. He also gives details about his experience in the famous march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Administrative Information

Custodial History note

Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.

Preferred citation

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 139, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.


Restrictions

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.


Biographical Note

John Robert Lewis was born February 21, 1940 in Troy, Alabama. He graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he became a leader in the Nashville sit-ins. While a student he was invited to participate in non-violence workshops in the basement of Clark Memorial United Methodist Church, and he later participated in the Freedom Rides. From 1963 to 1966, Lewis served as chairmen of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Along with Martin Luther King, Jr., he spoke at the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1964 he helped coordinate the "Freedom Summer" in Mississippi, a campaign to register black voters across the South. Lewis was a leader in the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, where, in Selma, he and other marchers were beaten and dispersed with tear gas by state troopers and deputized white citizens. The event, which came to be known as "Bloody Sunday," helped inspire the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year. Lewis entered the political arena in 1981 when he earned a seat on the Atlanta City Council. In 1986 he successfully ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He would go on to be relected many times and serve in various leadership roles in the House Democratic caucus.


Scope and Content

In this interview John Lewis discusses his early years in rural Alabama and his work as a civil rights leader and U.S. Representative. He covers his early activism and education in non-violence in Nashville as a student of Fisk University's American Baptist Theological Seminary, his participitation in the Freedom Rides, and his work organizing demonstrations as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He discusses his relationships with other civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea Williams, and James Lawson, and his involvment in sit-ins and marches, including his experiences being assaulted and jailed. He also gives details about his experience in the famous march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.


Related Collections in this Repository

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 085 Tyrone Brooks

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 088 Willie Bolden

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 133 Julian Bond

Zell Miller Papers, Series IX: Audiovisual Materials


Access Points

Bond, Julian, 1940-
Civil rights movements--Georgia.
Civil rights movements--United States.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968.
Lawson, James M., 1928-
Oral histories.
Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965 : Selma, Ala.)
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
United States. Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Vivian, C.T.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 
ROGP 139 John Lewis video, 12 May 2012 ( 40.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE