It’s Time to Transform America
Representative John Lewis of Georgia, an icon of the struggle for civil rights, social justice and equality died in mid-July. He was called the “conscience of the Congress.” His passing evoked memories of the March on Washington and the bridge in Selma. And attention on the struggles today: the new Jim Crow, the Black Lives Matter movement and the widespread demonstrations protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. In the tradition of his mentor Dr. King, John Lewis was dedicated to civil disobedience and non-violence. His words inspire us to engagement and peaceful resistance. When he gave the commencement address to Boston University graduates in 2018, he said, “My philosophy is simple. When you see something that is not fair, not right, not just, then you have a moral obligation to say something; to do something, stand up, speak out.”
Reverend William Barber chairs NAACP’s Legislative Political Action Committee. He co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign and serves as pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is the author of Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing.
Martin Luther King
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner, is one of the 20th century’s most enduring figures. He advocated and practiced civil disobedience and non-violence. He said, “Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics.” He rose to national prominence during the epic Montgomery bus boycott and then went on to spearhead a movement which ended juridical apartheid in the U.S. He was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968.
Daniel Koval –
Dr King’s brilliant speech is as true today as it was in 1967. What a sad indictment of our society. Thanks then that the banner has been picked up by Mr Barber. I can’t imagine a better or more eloquent leader for these times. Let me, and everyone with a heart and a conscience not just listen but also reach out and ask “How can I help sir”. What better way to honor John Lewis’ memory.
Evangeline Elmendorf Greene –
Listening to these speeches left me speechless…most powerful heartpunch in these troubled times I have experienced. This is what America needs.
Rile-Jessica Jeglinski (verified owner) –
I cried .. no balled my eyes out in catharsis listening to this call for solidarity
Saraswathi Devi (verified owner) –
These two speeches by two of the greatest Americans who ever lived elevate us to our better selves and spur us on to practice Good Trouble.