The late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis exemplified the power of perseverance; boldly and fearlessly fighting for justice in the face of oppression. The U.S. Postal Service is honoring his legacy and resounding impact through the creation of a stamp.
Congressman Lewis was one of the trailblazers at the forefront of driving equality forward in America. In 1963, the Alabama native was named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, where he organized sit-ins and was part of the Freedom Rides. He played an integral role in planning the historic March on Washington. He was also a fierce advocate for voting rights and led the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965, where state troopers brutally attacked him and other demonstrators. The national dissemination of the harrowing images from the demonstration—where Lewis’ skull was fractured—helped accelerate the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
After leaving the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1966, Lewis continued to lead work around eradicating policies rooted in systemic racism that barred African Americans from voting. He became the director of the Voter Education Project and helped millions of marginalized individuals register to vote. In 1981, he took a deeper dive into politics and won a seat on the Atlanta City Council. Five years later, he was elected to the House of Representatives, where he led efforts centered on equity in healthcare, education, and combating voter suppression. Rep. Lewis passed away in 2020, but his legacy lives on through generations of changemakers dedicated to fighting for justice.
The stamp—which is part of the U.S. Postal Service’s 2023 collection—features a picture of Lewis that photographer Marco Grob captured for a 2013 issue of TIME. Derry Noyes served as the art director for this piece.
“Devoted to equality and justice for all Americans, Lewis spent more than 30 years in Congress steadfastly defending and building on key civil rights gains that he had helped achieve in the 1960s” read a statement from the USPS. “Even in the face of hatred and violence, as well as some 45 arrests, Lewis remained resolute in his commitment to what he liked to call “good trouble.”
News about Rep. John Lewis’ stamp comes a month after it was announced Black literary trailblazers Ernest J. Gaines and Toni Morrison were added to the 2023 compilation of USPS stamps.
Black Literary Pioneers Toni Morrison And Ernest J. Gaines Honored With USPS Stamps
Spelman College Launches Scholarship Fund To Honor John Lewis’ Legacy
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