The death earlier in July of African-American congressman John Lewis — the last surviving member of the speakers at the 1963 March on Washington — marks the distinctive passing of a golden age of sacred struggle. This was the generation of US activists who sacrificed their lives for black freedom and equality.

Lewis was born in 1940 in rural Alabama to sharecropping parents. He confronted racism early on when he was denied access to a local library. He became inspired to join the civil rights struggle when he heard a young Marin Luther King Jr preaching on the radio during the 1955-1956 Montgomery bus boycott. Encouraged by King, he studied at the black Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville...

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