Civil-rights legend John Lewis to speak Wednesday at Kentucky State University

Herald-Leader Staff ReportFebruary 17, 2014 

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., will be the guest speaker at a black history convocation Wednesday at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. The 11 a.m. event at Bradford Hall is free and open to the public.

As a student at Fisk University, Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville. In 1961, he volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South. He was beaten severely by angry mobs and was arrested by police for challenging the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South.

During the height of the movement, from 1963 to 1966, Lewis was named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which he helped form. SNCC was largely responsible for organizing student activism in the movement, including sit-ins and other activities.

Lewis, 73, was elected to Congress in November 1986 and has been U.S. representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since then.

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