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Local leaders remember civil rights icon John Lewis

LEGACY AND HOW THEY HOPE TO HONOR HIM. MARISSA: I SPOKE TO SEVERAL NEW MEXICANS TODAY ABOUT THE IMPACT REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LEWIS LEFT ON THEM. AND WHILE NONE OF THEM NEW KNEW — NONE OF THEM KNEW HIM PERSONALLY, THEY BELIEVE THE WORK HE DID IN HIS LIFETIME IS GOING TO IMPACT GENERATIONS TO COME. >> HE WASN’T JUST A CIVIL RIGHTS ICON. HE WAS ALSO A VERY HUMBLE, PEACEFUL, AND A VERY STRONG AND COURAGEOUS MAN. MARISSA: A MAN WHO FOUGHT FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF BLACK AMERICANS, A MAN WHO GOT INTO GOOD TROUBLE WHEN NECESSARY. >> BEING ONE OF THOSE FRONTLINE RIDERS, ON THE FREEDOM RIDERS, THAT WAS A COURAGEOUS GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, BEING A PART OF THE SIT-INS, AND THE THINGS HE’S DONE AT THE COLLEGES. MARISSA: REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LEWIS WAS AN AGENT OF CHANGE. >> HE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO DIE, AND I’M TALKING PARTICULARLY ABOUT THAT MOMENT ON THE EDMOND BRIDGE, WHEN THEY CONFRONTED ALL OF THOSE LAW ENFORCEMENT INDIVIDUALS AND WERE SEVERELY BEATEN ON WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS BLOODY SUNDAY. MARISSA: FOR MANY NEW MEXICANS, LEWIS WAS SOMEONE WHO PAVED THE WAY. >> HE GREW UP IN SUCH A DIFFERENT ERA IN JIM CROW. SO TO ME, LOOK BACK AT HOW FAR WE’VE CAME AND BE ABLE TO APPRECIATE WHO’S KINDA PAVED THE WAY FOR USE TO BE ABLE TO — US TO BE ABLE TO ADVANCE IN THE COMMUNITY. MARISSA: A MAN WHO ENCOURAGED EVERYONE TO EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE, A LESSON THAT MANY HOPE STICKS WITH OUR YOUNGER GENERATIONS. >> ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HE ABSOULTUELY SAID IN 2020, VOTE LIKE YOU NEVER VOTE BEFORE, BECAUSE OUR COUNTRY, OUR WORLD, YOUR COMMUNITITES AND YOUR FAMILY DEPEND ON I MARISSA: AND SOME OF THOSE I SPOKE WITH TODAY HOPE THEY WILL RENAME THE BRIDGE AFTER HIM, AND MAYBE EVEN SOME VOTER RIGHTS BILLS. REPORTING LIVE, MARISSA ARMAS, KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS. DOUG: TODAY, THE NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL ALSO RECO

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Local leaders remember civil rights icon John Lewis

On Thursday, the bells at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., rang for 80 seconds to honor civil rights leader and congressman, John Lewis. More than 500 churches around the country did the same, but one, did not. Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which is where Lewis’s service was held. Instead they observed 80 seconds of silence, one for each year of his life. After days of ceremonies for Congressman Lewis, friends and family gathered to say their final goodbyes. Local leaders in Albuquerque also reflected on the life and legacy Lewis left behind.”He wasn’t just a civil rights icon, he was also a very humble, peaceful, strong and courageous man,” said Nicole Bedford, the deputy director with the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs. A man who fought for the human rights of Black Americans. A man who got into “good trouble” when necessary.”Being one of those front-line riders, on the freedom riders, that was a courageous group of individuals, being a part of the sit-ins, and the things he’s done at the colleges,” said Alex Horton, the founder & executive director of the International District Economic Development. New Mexicans like Horton and Pamelya Herndon said Lewis was an agent of change.”He thought he was going to die, and I’m talking particularly about that moment on the Edmond Pettus Bridge, when they confronted all of those law enforcement individuals and were severely beaten, on what is now known as ‘Bloody Sunday,'” said Herndon, who’s the first Vice Chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Albuquerque chapter.For many New Mexicans, Lewis was someone who paved the way for them. “He grew up in such a different era in Jim Crow,” Horton said. “So to me, we have to look back at how far we’ve came and be able to appreciate who’s kinda paved the way for us to be able to advance in the community.”A man who encouraged everyone to exercise their right to vote, a lesson that many hope sticks with our younger generations. “One of the things that he absolutely said in 2020, ‘Vote like you never voted before, because our country, our world, your communities and your family depend on it,'” said Herndon. Herndon hopes they will rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama after Lewis, and maybe even a voter rights bill. During a special session on Thursday, the Navajo Nation Council also recognized Lewis’s contributions to the United States. They even paused for a moment of silence for him. Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all spoke at his funeral. His body has laid in state in Washington, D.C., and in the Georgia Capitol where 55 years earlier, that state’s governor denied him access. Thursday was a day of homecoming for “the boy from Troy” as he was called.

On Thursday, the bells at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., rang for 80 seconds to honor civil rights leader and congressman, John Lewis.

More than 500 churches around the country did the same, but one, did not. Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which is where Lewis’s service was held. Instead they observed 80 seconds of silence, one for each year of his life.

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After days of ceremonies for Congressman Lewis, friends and family gathered to say their final goodbyes. Local leaders in Albuquerque also reflected on the life and legacy Lewis left behind.

“He wasn’t just a civil rights icon, he was also a very humble, peaceful, strong and courageous man,” said Nicole Bedford, the deputy director with the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs.

A man who fought for the human rights of Black Americans. A man who got into “good trouble” when necessary.

“Being one of those front-line riders, on the freedom riders, that was a courageous group of individuals, being a part of the sit-ins, and the things he’s done at the colleges,” said Alex Horton, the founder & executive director of the International District Economic Development.

New Mexicans like Horton and Pamelya Herndon said Lewis was an agent of change.

“He thought he was going to die, and I’m talking particularly about that moment on the Edmond Pettus Bridge, when they confronted all of those law enforcement individuals and were severely beaten, on what is now known as ‘Bloody Sunday,'” said Herndon, who’s the first Vice Chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Albuquerque chapter.

For many New Mexicans, Lewis was someone who paved the way for them.

“He grew up in such a different era in Jim Crow,” Horton said. “So to me, we have to look back at how far we’ve came and be able to appreciate who’s kinda paved the way for us to be able to advance in the community.”

A man who encouraged everyone to exercise their right to vote, a lesson that many hope sticks with our younger generations.

“One of the things that he absolutely said in 2020, ‘Vote like you never voted before, because our country, our world, your communities and your family depend on it,'” said Herndon.

Herndon hopes they will rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama after Lewis, and maybe even a voter rights bill. During a special session on Thursday, the Navajo Nation Council also recognized Lewis’s contributions to the United States. They even paused for a moment of silence for him.

Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all spoke at his funeral. His body has laid in state in Washington, D.C., and in the Georgia Capitol where 55 years earlier, that state’s governor denied him access. Thursday was a day of homecoming for “the boy from Troy” as he was called.

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