Everyone knows John Lewis was a leader in the civil rights movement. What you may not know is that while he served in the US House of Representatives for 33 years he sponsored and cosponsored over 8500 bills. Those bills affect almost every American.
While Lewis did his share of fluff legislation like naming buildings, most of his work was directed to the average American. Here is just a small portion of the bills he sponsored:
Support at home caregivers
Protect retiree benefits from bankruptcy
Fight online sex trafficking
Homeowner flood insurance affordability
Require banks to disclose fees
The first year Lewis was in the House of Representatives he submitted a bill to create the Museum of Black History. The bill was blocked by Jesse Helms. Lewis went on to resubmit the bill every year for 15 years with the same results. By the 16 year he submitted the bill Helms had retired from congress and the bill passed. As a result the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is one of the most visited Smithsonian Museum in the country.
Lewis was also an award-winning author. He broke with tradition and with his cowriter and illustrator created a series of three graphic novels about his experiences in the civil rights movement titled ‘March’. The jarring black and white illustrations present the anxiety and tension of the times that many can identify with today. The violence and language in the novels gear them to a more mature audience.
A fourth graphic novel ‘Run’ picking up Lewis’ life after the voting rights act is scheduled to come out in 2023.
Lewis also published “Across that Bridge”. A traditional book where Lewis uses his experiences to inspire and offer guidance to those who want to change the world through non-violent action.
Lewis leaves behind an estate worth less than $300,000 but his legacy is priceless. His life’s’ work of fighting for everyone’s civil rights will be an inspiration and road map for change for generations to come.