Atlanta Congressman, Civil Rights icon John Lewis visits D.C. Jail inmates
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Atlanta Congressman John Lewis was arrested as one of the "big six" leaders of the Civil Rights movement.
Earlier this week, he went back behind bars at the D.C. Jail to speak with some of the juvenile inamtes.
Congressman John Lewis took a trip to D.C. Jail Monday to speak to prisoners about the Civil Rights Movement.
With his aide Andrew Aydin, Lewis spoke to the jail's "Free Minds Book Club," whose members are juveniles charged as adults.
With their mentors, they all sat in a large circle as the Congressman related to the teens, talking about getting jumped while others sat-in trying to be served at lunch and restaurants in the south. He also talked about how he was arrested 40 times in the 60's, in addition to the numerous beatings he endured.
Lewis co-wrote a series of comic books called "March," about his life in Civil Rights, along with his aide. The book club chose Lewis' book for Black History Month.
Lewis is the only speaker from the 1963 March on Washington who is still alive today. He is 76. He encouraged the young prisoners never to give up in life.
"You have to have this attitude that you may get knocked down," he said, "but you must never give up, never get lost in a sea of despair."
Lewis said Martin Luther King Jr. was one of his mentors.
He said he was 17 years old when he wrote Dr. King about discrimination in his hometown of Troy, Alabama.
He said Dr. King wrote him back and sent a round-trip bus ticket to visit him in Montgomery, Alabama. He joked with the prisoners that Dr. King gave him a nickname, "The Boy from Troy."