Historical marker placed at Civil Rights leader John Lewis’ birthplace

by Georgia Clark

In a joint effort between the City of Troy and the John R. Lewis Legacy Institute, the unveiling ceremony happened Saturday at Lewis’ childhood home in rural Pike County, Alabama. With an impressive marker now in the front yard, Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said he expects people from all over to see this piece of history.

“Knowing that people from all over the world will be able to come and see where John Robert Lewis became John Robert Lewis, and the fact that that is in Troy, Alabama, brings us so much pride,” Reeves said.

The marker tells Lewis’ life story, from his birth to his time in the House of Representatives as the representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, and finally to his death in 2020.

Lewis said throughout his life that he got into “good trouble,” and he did that by fighting for civil rights. He marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King during the 1963 March on Washington and helped lead the march through Selma on the historic “Bloody Sunday” in 1965.

Micheal Collins, Vice President Kamala Harris’ Director of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Lewis’ former Chief of Staff, spoke at the ceremony and said Lewis’ legacy and actions inspired him and Vice President Harris.

 “For me, it is just an honor to serve him, as I did for 21 years, and to live with that legacy, and to continue that legacy,” Collins said. “This is an embodiment of his life and his legacy.”

Collins also said Lewis would speak about his parents and siblings and how he practiced his preaching skills on a captive audience of chickens. Lewis took the story of his hometown with him worldwide and was known widely as “the Boy from Troy.”

Lewis’ family members and college roommate took to the podium to remind everyone of Lewis’ influence on the nation and inspired people to always get into “good trouble.”

The marker can be found on County Road 7755 in Troy.

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