July 31, 2020

During a virtual meeting in June with some activists at the Obama Institute, John Lewis shared his thoughts on what keeps him going. It is the last known video of Rep. Lewis before his death on July 17th.

Ali Velshi played it in its entirety on the Rachel Maddow show last night. I wanted to share it here because there is so much negativity and so much discouragement that seeing Rep. Lewis, in the midst of his battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, take the time to tell activist Darnell Jones how he keeps on is inspiring. If Rep. Lewis could fight on in spite of the overwhelming effort it took, so can we.

This seems to be the moment where he handed the torch to this young and inspiring generation of activists, too.

Transcript below:

JONES: What was and has been the source of your strength? What keeps you going? And what keeps you fighting?

LEWIS: More than anything, my faith helped me. And I couldn't give up, could not give in. I thought, when I was being beaten on the bridge, I thought I saw death. I thought I was going to die. And I said a little prayer, said, Lord, let me live. I want to stay here. I want to be around. And I believe it was the grace of God and praying witnesses that helped save me. And so today I feel more lucky, more than lucky, more than blessed but to be here to see the changes that have occurred, to live to see a young man, my friend Barack Obama become president of the United States of America. It was worth the pain.

And that's why I believe that we cannot give up. We cannot give up, become bitter or hostile. And to see all of the young people, all of the young men, not just men of color but Black, white, Latino, Asian-American, all of the young women standing up, speaking up, being prepared to march.

They're going to help redeem the soul of America and save our country and maybe help save the planet.

Amen. Rest in power, hero.

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