John Lewis Funeral Updates: Obama to Deliver Eulogy


Mr. Lewis’s death on July 17 came amid a moment of unrest across America, with the nation again wrestling with its troubled racial history. And in the days since, at memorial events in Alabama and Washington, one person after the next has invoked Mr. Lewis’s credo of getting into “good trouble.” As a young man — and for the rest of his life — he defined it as a moral call to rebel through nonviolent means against injustices, even if the consequences were perilous.

The conversations about Mr. Lewis’s legacy, with some of his colleagues calling him the “conscience of Congress,” have pushed many activists and others to consider how his message of nonviolent resistance has endured and evolved for a new generation carrying on the fight.

“It’s easy to go violence on violence,” David Parker, an Army veteran who works for a courier company, said on Wednesday as he stood in a long line at the Statehouse to bid Mr. Lewis farewell. “The hard part is peace.”

“You go the other way,” Mr. Parker, 54, said, “you’re going to blow up the country.”

Outside the gold-domed Georgia Capitol, a diverse crowd that had come to pay their respects snaked around the building and seemed to constantly replenish itself. The crowd was young and old, in hijabs and ball caps, in formal dress and T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan of a new civil rights protest movement that Mr. Lewis had wholeheartedly endorsed.

Cedric Williams, 56, a tech worker, spoke of growing up Black in Memphis, and of being scarred, as a young man, by the 1968 assassination of Dr. King in his hometown.

Mr. Lewis’s consistent preaching of a shared humanity that transcends racial barriers spoke to him, as did his insistence that people, and the nation, were capable of change, just as Mr. Williams himself had changed.

“We’re still talking about those same issues,” Mr. Williams said, adding that he had been heartened by Mr. Lewis’s embrace of the Black Lives Matter effort as the latest chapter in a movement he had helped steer. “We are standing on the shoulders of greatness.”



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