After John Lewis’ funeral, will Congress revitalize the Voting Rights Act?

Hosted by

Former U.S. President Barack Obama makes remarks during the funeral of late U.S. Congressman John Lewis, a pioneer of the civil rights movement and long-time member of the U.S. House of Representatives who died July 17, at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. July 30, 2020. Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Pool via REUTERS.

John Lewis’ funeral was today in Atlanta. The late Congressman and civil rights activist died of pancreatic cancer on July 17. He was 80 years old. Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama spoke at the service.

Obama said during the eulogy, “Imagine the courage of two people Malia’s age. Younger than my oldest daughter. On their own. To challenge an entire infrastructure of oppression.” Obama also urged Congress to revitalize the Voting Rights Act. 

Days before Lewis’ death, he submitted an essay to the New York Times, and asked that it be printed on the day of his funeral. In it, he shares how the nation inspired him in his final days, and that he felt hopeful while watching people from all races, classes, and religions stand up for George Floyd and Black lives. 

In the essay, he also urged people to stand up for what they truly believe in. It was something Lewis spent his life doing, first as a civil rights activist fighting for voting rights, and then as a Congressman for more than three decades.