MLK Day Legacy: John Lewis

Uploaded by nationalservice on 20.12.2011


In 1957, when I was 17 years old,
I wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. a letter.
Told him in wanted to attend a little college
about ten miles from my home.
And this school didn't admit black students.
He wrote me back and sent me a round trip Greyhound bus
ticket and invited me to come to Montgomery
to meet with him.
But I went off to another school,
and he got back in touch with me and suggested when I
was home for spring break, to come and see him.
So in March, 1958, I traveled to Montgomery.
I walked through the-- the doors of this little church,
and I saw Dr. King standing behind a desk.
And he said to me, "Are you the boy from Troy?
Are you John Lewis?"
I was so scared, I didn't know what to say or what to do.
And I said, "Dr. King, I'm John Robert Lewis."
I gave him my whole name.
He was so inspiring.
He was so moving.
And somehow, in some way, I wanted to become
part of that movement.
And I did.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of service.
And, his day-- should be a day of service,
not just a day of celebration,
but a day on, and not a day off.
That we should find a way to encourage all Americans to
go out and give something back.