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'Good Trouble': A New Generation Of Activists On John Lewis' Indelible Legacy

A protestor displays a sign that read #Good Trouble, in homage to recently deceased Congressman and activist John Lewis during a Justice Ride, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement on July 18, 2020 in the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the borough of Queens, New York City. (Johannes Eisele/AFP)
A protestor displays a sign that read #Good Trouble, in homage to recently deceased Congressman and activist John Lewis during a Justice Ride, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement on July 18, 2020 in the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the borough of Queens, New York City. (Johannes Eisele/AFP)

The legacy of John Lewis — the tireless civil rights leader and longtime representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, who died Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer — won’t die with him, at least not if the next generation of activists and change-makers has anything to say about it. We speak to some of them about Lewis’ mantra of causing “good trouble,” and what that means to them.

Guests

Rose Scott, host of “Closer Look with Rose Scott” on WABE, an NPR station in Atlanta. ( @waberosescott)

Kwame Rose, social activist, artist and organizer in Baltimore. ( @kwamerose)

Dawn Porter,award-winning documentary filmmaker. Founder of Trilogy Films, a production company. Director of “ John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a documentary on the civil rights leader’s life of activism. ( @dawnporterm)

Andrew Aydin, former congressional aide to Rep. John Lewis. Co-author, with Lewis, of the award-winning graphic novel series “ MARCH,” about Lewis’ life. ( @andrewaydin)

Watch on YouTube.

From The Reading List

The New York Times: “ ‘They Didn’t Just Love Him. They Knew Him.’ Young Atlanta Activists Mourn John Lewis.” — “By the time the Rev. James Woodall came to know John Lewis, Mr. Lewis was already a longtime congressman and a towering figure in the civil rights movement, one whose legacy loomed large over Atlanta. At 26, Mr. Woodall is one of the youngest leaders in the N.A.A.C.P., serving as the president for the organization in Georgia. Despite the more than half a century that separated them, Mr. Woodall said he identified with Mr. Lewis as an inspirational leader who at a very young age worked to change the world.”

USA Today: “ ‘Work is still unfinished’: Younger civil rights activists vow to continue work of Rep. John Lewis” — “As the nation mourns the loss of Rep. John Lewis — one of the icons of the civil rights movement — the younger generations he helped groom and inspire pledge to carry out his legacy. Civil rights leaders, young and old, praised Lewis Saturday for his unwavering fight for social justice but acknowledged his work— and theirs — is far from finished.”

The Washington Post: “ John Lewis leaves behind a powerful legacy of social justice” — “On July 17, congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis died at 80, on the same day as 95-year-old stalwart C.T. Vivian, Martin Luther King’s favorite preacher. Both leave behind a legacy of social justice activism that played a pivotal role in some of the most resounding victories of the civil rights movement: America’s Second Reconstruction.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.