PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, will address the Democratic National Convention at about 5 p.m. to help officially nominate Hillary Clinton for president. The veteran Georgia lawmaker will likely receive a warm reception. Here are five things to know about him:
1. His new ‘graphic novel’ comes out soon: On the Wednesday, the Democratic Party of Georgia will host a tribute to Lewis and the “March” graphic novel project that chronicles his work during the Civil Rights Movement. The third and final installment of the trilogy is set to be released in early August and both Lewis and his “March” co-author, Andrew Aydin, will sign books at the party’s morning breakfast.
2. Gun violence stand will resonate: Lewis led fellow House Democrats on a lengthy sit-in protest on the House floor last month to protest a lack of action in Congress on gun violence. “We were elected to lead, Mr. Speaker,” Lewis said at the time. “We must be headlights, and not taillights. We cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the reality of mass gun violence in our nation.”
3. Long record of civil rights work: Lewis is a former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. SNCC was largely responsible for organizing student activism in the civil rights movement. Two years later, in 1963 when he was 23, he had already become known as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the movement. Lewis had major roles in the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the March on Washington and the march from Selma to Montgomery, including the encounter on the Edmund Pettis Bridge.
4. Dean of the Georgia delegation: Lewis was first elected to Congress in 1986, ranking him 13th on the list of seniority of the U.S. House. Lewis is running for his 16th term in office. U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop is the next senior Georgian, having been elected in 1992.
5. He’s ‘with her’ this time: Lewis originally backed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2008 before eventually switching his support Barack Obama about a month before the Georgia primary. “Something’s happening in America, something some of us did not see coming, ” Lewis said at the time. “Barack Obama has tapped into something that is extraordinary.”