On Friday (July 17) evening, it was reported that civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis passed away at the age of 80 and reactions from the Hip Hop community have been pouring in.
Luminaries such as Diddy, Pharrell, Nas, Jermaine Dupri and Swizz Beatz, among others have all paid their respects on social media to the civil rights leader.
“Thank you King John Lewis for your lifetime of service for our community. We will finish what you started ON GOD!,” Diddy said in a Tweet.
“Thank You Rep. John Lewis !!!! Definition of a True American,” Nas captioned on a nostalgic black-and-white photo of the late icon on Instagram. “A Man who Fought for Freedom. True definition of Brave & Brilliance!!!”
As a member of the Democratic Party, Congressman Lewis served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district since 1987. He was also the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. His life was dedicated to equal justice for all Black people in America and was a great advocate for non-violent activism.
In 1963, at the age of 23, he helped organize the voting-rights march in Selma, Alabama, and was one of the original Freedom Riders that was protesting segregated bus rides. He was also the last surviving leader of “The Big Six” from the Civil Rights Movement, walking alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney Young and Roy Wilkins in the fight for equality.
His legacy gained prominence when he led 600 peaceful protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. The protesters were violently attacked by over 100 Alabama state troopers in a moment now known as “Bloody Sunday.” There is currently a call to rename the bridge after the congressman.
Though Lewis’ cause of death has yet to be confirmed, the late civil rights activist announced last December that he would begin treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer.
See some posts from the Hip Hop community paying their respects to the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis and civil rights leader below.