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John Lewis Discusses Legacy of Civil Rights Activism

Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin spoke about the civil rights movement, past and present, at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts.
Vermont Humanities Council
Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin spoke about the civil rights movement, past and present, at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts.

Congressman John Lewis is the sole surviving member of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders of the 1960s. He's dedicated his life to nonviolent protests in pursuit of social justice. And along with co-author Andrew Aydin, Lewis wrote about his life and work in the graphic novel series March, a 2019 Vermont Reads selection. Today on Vermont Edition, we'll hear highlights from an event featuring Lewis and Aydin recorded live at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, Oct. 7.

Congressman John Lewis and "March" co-author Andrew Aydin discuss the three-part graphic novel and the civil rights movement, past and present.
Credit Vermont Humanities Council
/
Vermont Humanities Council
Congressman John Lewis and "March" co-author Andrew Aydin discuss the three-part graphic novel and the civil rights movement, past and present.

In his early years, Lewis organized demonstrations to oppose segregation at lunch counters in Nashville and participated in the Freedom Rides to challenge segregation in public busing. He has survived multiple arrests and injuries as a result of his nonviolent protests.

Georgia Congressman John Lewis speaking on stage.
Credit Vermont Humanities Council
/
Vermont Humanities Council
Georgia Congressman John Lewis speaks to a sold-out house at the Flynn Center on Monday, Oct. 7.

Inspired by the radio broadcasts of Martin Luther King, Jr., Lewis brought his formative years in the civil rights movement to life in March, the first of his three-part graphic novel series with co-author Andrew Aydin. The book is the Vermont Reads selection for 2019 by the Vermont Humanities Council.

Lewis advisor and "March" co-author Andrew Aydin on stage at the Flynn Center.
Credit Vermont Humanities Council
/
Vermont Humanities Council
Lewis advisor and "March" co-author Andrew Aydin on stage at the Flynn Center.

During the event recorded at the Flynn Center, we'll hear an introdcution by Sen. Patrick Leahy, from co-author Aydin, and about Lewis's experiences in the civil rights movement, that state of that movement today and what Lewis sees as social justice priorites today.

Broadcast on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

John Van Hoesen is the senior vice president and chief content officer at VPR. He oversees content on VPR News, VPR Classical and VPR.net. He has also served as news director and vice president for news at VPR.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.
April Qian was a part-time producer for Vermont Edition.
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