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Rep. John Lewis: Last of the Big Six

Marcia Franklin talks with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the last of the so-called “Big Six” leaders of the African-American civil rights movement.

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Originally Aired: 11/14/2014

Lewis was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966, and played a seminal role in some of the 56 most important activities of the movement, including the Freedom Rides, the march from Selma to Montgomery and the March on Washington (at which he was the youngest speaker). He became a United States Representative in 1986.

During their conversation, Lewis and Franklin discussed his emotions on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the election of President Obama, what Lewis sees as current civil rights challenges, and his advice to the next generation. The two also discuss a trilogy of graphic novels called March that he and a staffer, Andrew Aydin, are writing. The series illustrates the congressman’s life in the civil rights movement. The first book hit #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

The interview is part of Dialogue’s series, “Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference,” and was taped at the 2014 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together some of the world’s most well-known and illuminating authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

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