This post was originally published on this site
4 lessons journalists can learn from Lewis, and how his life of powerful stories bears important messages for today
John Lewis leaves a life of powerful stories, stories that he told, that others told about him, and that millions saw in television news clips and movies. These stories bear important messages for society today, especially for journalists.
Lewis told how he practiced his calling as a small boy by preaching to his family’s chickens. As a teen from Pike County, near Troy, Alabama, he went to Nashville’s American Baptist College and found his mission in social justice. He was 18 when he wrote to a young Montgomery, Alabama, minister named Martin Luther King Jr. King invited Lewis to meet and called him “the boy from Troy.”
By age 23 Lewis was the youngest speaker in the 1963 March on Washington. Two years later he was the man in the cream trench coat beaten by state troopers during a march across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. Later he served nearly 34 years as U.S. congressman from Georgia, representing Atlanta.
In my Poynter teaching I often used the title story from “Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement.” Lewis and Michael D’Orso co-wrote the award-winning book. The prologue tells of 4-year-old John Lewis, his three siblings and a dozen cousins playing in the dirt outside an aunt’s house. The sky darkened, the wind whipped up and lightning flashed in the distance.
His aunt gathered them into her house. Soon
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2020/john-lewis-a-life-of-powerful-stories/