The Oklahoma Democratic Party Mourns an Icon

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party mourns the passing of U.S. Congressman John Lewis, legendary activist and civil rights leader who was known for his life-risking actions for justice, humility, and forgiveness.

John Lewis inspired a movement fighting racism and civil injustice. Lewis was a follower and friend of Martin Luther King Jr., participating alongside him in lunch counter sit-ins, joined the Freedom Riders challenging segregation, and was the last living keynote speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Lewis marched for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, also known as “Bloody Sunday,” where he was attacked with clubs, fracturing his skull. This march, which was heavily armed by state and local police, did not deter Lewis. He continued to push for voting rights and was a key organizer in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Lewis said years later, “I gave a little blood on that bridge. I thought I was going to die. I thought I saw death.”

In 1981, Lewis was elected to the Atlanta city council and then the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district in 1987. He dedicated his life and service to fighting racial injustice and protecting the right to vote.

His legacy reminds us that our nation still has work to do. We shall not forget the sacrifices he made so that we may continue his work to unite in the name of justice — our sincerest condolences to the Lewis family.