John Lewis, the iconic civil-rights leader and congressman who died on July 17, wrote an extraordinary essay shortly before he died and requested that it was published today—the day when he’ll be put to rest at a funeral service in Atlanta. The work, titled “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation” and published by The New York Times, is an impassioned plea to Americans to reroute the history of the country by standing up for what they believe in and voting. Lewis wrote: “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed.” The late congressman tells this generation of Americans: “In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.” Former President Barack Obama will eulogize the late congressman at Ebenezer Baptist Church later Thursday.
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