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Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.

By 

Mr. Lewis, the civil rights leader who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death, to be published upon the day of his funeral.

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars…

Read (and download if you wish) the full Transcript of John Lewis’ Letter to America.

Read full article here

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2 Comments

  1. Sherry clay on November 29, 2021 at 12:04 AM

    I asked customer service for the john Lewis final letter addressing the nation. I stated I didn’t have the exact title but it was in July 2020, Published in NYT and read by morgan Freeman the day of US rep.John Lewis’ funeral. I was sent a link to print out his farewell statement the wrong article. The onky article..now I’m receiving message I cannot obtain the correct one saying I’ve used up my free articles. There ought to be a way a 74 disabled widow could get a copy of this outstanding man last words to our nation. He was a dedicated servant beyond his constituants, but dedicated service of such integrity and profound courage, conviction, example, of steadfast work for justice, equality, unity harmony peace. I need a copy badly to share for so many im surrounded by have no idea about John Lewis what he stood up for, marched for, she’d his blood for and kept speaking working for ..for the good of our nation. There isn’t any problem ..no trouble at all getting copies ..info ..reports of all the hateful violent rhetoric. Im baffled why its been so difficult getting a copy of his address to our nation in its entirety.

    • dr_fran on December 1, 2021 at 11:20 AM

      Ms. Clay, I am so sorry that the NYT did not provide you with a transcript of the full text. But now we have. I will email you a pdf of the transcript and I have also put it online in this post, so that it can be read, enjoyed, downloaded and saved by others. Thank you for this alert.

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