Former President JJ Rawlings has joined a long list of national leaders who have commiserated with the family of US veteran civil right icon, John Lewis following the latter’s passing on Saturday, July 18, 2020.
A statement from Mr Rawlings office described the late Congressman as ‘fearless and unrelenting’ in the face of abuse while he sought equity for all.
“Congressman #JohnLewis dedicated most of his life to combatting racial segregation, confronting violence with non-violent activism. Abused and beaten for seeking equity, he remained fearless and unrelenting,” part of the statement read.
While recounting John Lewis visit to Ghana at the beginning of the year, President Akufo-Addo tweeted that “he dedicated his life to helping to realise the goals of the Movement, i.e. to end legalised racial discrimination, disenfranchisement and racial segregation in the United States.”
“Ghana played host to him and a delegation from the US Congress last year, as part of activities to commemorate the ‘Year of Return’. His was a life well-lived”, President Akufo-Addo wrote said.
Read former president Rawlings’ eulogy below
John Lewis died at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer having been diagnosed in December 2019.
“I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life,” he said in a statement released at the time. “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”
He was one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King Jr, and helped organise the historic 1963 March on Washington.
During the civil rights movement, Lewis was one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and then became its chairman from 1963 to 1966.
He co-organised and spoke at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the rally at which Dr King delivered his historic I Have a Dream speech.