tv In Depth Rep. John Lewis D-GA CSPAN July 19, 2020 9:00am-12:02pm EDT
representative of georgia's fifth congressional district until his passing. in 2013, representative lewis appeared on booktv these in-depth to discuss his life and work picky was the author of several books including "walking with the wind," across that bridge, and march. .. i was part of the freedom ride. we left washington dc may 4, 1961. 18 of us. whites and blacks to test the
decision of the united states supreme court batting segregation in public transportation. my street mate on that greyhound bus you must understand in 1961 black people and white people could be seated together. when you get out of washington to travel to virginia to north carolina, alabama, mississippi, wewere on our way to new orleans . so we didn't have any problems for the most part until we got to rockville. and a little place in charlotte north carolina, it was a sizable city, a young african-american man attempted to get a shoeshine in a so-called white barbershop that was in a so-called white waiting room . he was arrested and taken to jail.
the next day the jury dismissed the charges against him but my seatmate and two of us arrived at the greyhound bus station in south carolina and a group of white men met us in the doorway and started beating us and left us lying in a pool of blood and the local officials came up and wanted to know whether we wanted to press charges andwe said no , we believe in love and peace and the way of nonviolence. i didn't know at the time in 1961 that this man was ever wilson but years later in february 09 month after president barack obama had been inaugurated he came to my office on capitol hill with his son, the son had been encouraging his father to seek out the people of the world and he walked into the office and said mister lewis, efraim wilson.
i'm one of the people that beat you. will you forgive me? i want to apologize, i'msorry . the sun started crying, he started crying, i started crying. they hunt to me, i hug them back and i saw him for the last time. he recently passed but it demonstrated the power of nonviolence. the power of love. the power of the way of peace to be reconciled. >> did he come to your office out of the blue? >> he did not come to my office out of the blue. he had been going around to different places in rockville south carolina trying to find students that had attended the local college. black college students during the sitting in 1960. he gone around apologizing to them and a local press person there made contact with and
he told them he had beaten some of the freedom riders so the press person started working with him and discovered that i was on the bus and that i was one of the people that was beaten . he said that man is john lewis. he's in washington. he's in the congress so he made his way to washington with his son. >> another significant date you write about in walking with the wind. february 27, 1960, nashville, your first arrest. >> i will never forget that day as long as i live. 20 years old. we had been involved in nonviolent workshops studying the way of gandhi, the way of martin luther king jr. we had studied the role of civil disobedience and we had what we called social drama or
role-playing and hundreds of students and then sitting in. you'd be sitting there in an orderly peaceful nonviolent fashion waiting to be served and someone would come up and spit on you or put a lighted cigarette out in your hair or down yourback . or either pour hot water or coffee on you or pull you off the stool and beat you and we were sitting there in an orderly fashion. not saying a word, looking straight ahead. but reading a book, working on a paper and people start beating us and the local police officials came up and arrested all of us but not a single person that had been engaged in violence against us. that was my first arrest and that day when i was arrested i felt so free. i felt liberated. i felt like i had crossed over. growing up in rural alabama i would ask my mother and my
father, and parents and great-grandparents about segregation and racial discrimination, about those signs saying colored waiting, white men, colored men, white men, colored women and i said why and they wouldsay that's the way it is . don't get in the way. don't get in trouble but doctorking and rosa parks inspired me to get in trouble so by sitting in , we were arrested and we went to jail. 89 of us were arrested on that day. >> did you pay a fine or were you in jail for a while ? >> we were in jail for a while. the local school officials came down and bailed us out. that was my first arrest. that was my introduction to a southern jail and i tell people i grew up sitting down on those lunch counters
stools and going to jail in places like nashville and birmingham, jackson mississippi and atlanta georgia and a few other places across the south. >> what was the ultimate result in nashville hired to the larger civilrights movement ? >> the nashville community became one of the first major cities in american south to segregate the founders. they later desegregated all of its theaters and in nashville, we took the, we started talking about the beloved community of macon nashville and the open city. nashville was considered the essence of the south and there were people in the white communities, very progressive. really liberals that really wanted to see nashville make the great transition to a peaceful and open city. >> how did you get to nashville?
>> i left rural alabama in 1957, 17 years old. traveling by bus to study. i wanted to attend a little school outside of troy alabama near where i grew up. i grew up 50 miles from montgomery, 10 miles from troy and i planned to go to a school called troy state college, now known as troy university. submitted my application and i never heard a word from the school so i wrote a letter to doctor martin luther king jr. and he wrote me back and sent me around trip greyhound bus ticket invited me to come to montgomery to meet with him but in the meantime i've been accepted at this college in nashville. so i went off to nashville, he gave me $100 bill, more money than i've ever had and gave me one of these big upright footlockers. i put everything that i owned in this locker, my books, my clothing and went to nashua
and i literally grew up in nashville. it was there that i started studying philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. >> who are shorty and sugar? >> shorty was a name that my mother and some other of my father and my father called my mother sugar. >> what did they do? >> they worked on the farm in 1944 and i do remember i was for. i remember when i was four. my father had been a sharecropper, but in 1944 he had saved me hundred dollars and he brought hundred 10 acres of land and my family is still on that land today and on this farm we raised a lot of cotton and corn. peanuts, hogs and cows and chickens. and i would be out there some days working in the field. i said to my mother thisis hard work .
and she would say boy, hard work never killed anybody and i kept saying if i can just make it to the end of this row. and i complained working in the field like this is just like gammon, you spend all this money on fertilizer and plants seeds and sometimes you get too much rain and you don't know whether you're going to make anything or not and my mother would say that's all we can do. but as a young child when i was only 7 1/2, eight years old in the later 19, i would get up early in the morning. and get my book bag. and hide under the porch and wait for the school bus to comealong . to run off to get on the bus or to go to school. i didn't like working in the field that i didn't like being out there in the hot sun.
>> i did get in trouble but they encouraged me to get an education at the same time, they needed me to work in the field. but it was i guess part of my first protest. only on the farm it was my responsibility to care for the chickens and i fell in love with raising the chickens like nobody else. >> you write about that in your recent book march one. it's a graphic novel. in here you write about preaching to the chicken. >> as a young child i wanted to be a minister. i wanted to preach the gospel . so from time to time helping my brothers and sisters and cousins we would gather all our chickens together in the chicken yard and my brothers and sisters and cousins were lined outside of the chicken yard and i was still preaching but the chickens along with my brothers and
sisters and cousins we had to make up the audience, the congregation and i remember well i fell in love with raising those chickens. the chicken taught me patients. they taught me hard work. they taught me not to giveup and not to give in . if you don't know anything about raising chickens on a farm, you had to take the fresh eggs and place them three long weeks for the chicks to hatch and you place them under here, from time to know him another hand was here and there wouldbe some more eggs . you would have the eggs that were already under here sometimes i would take these chickens and give them to another hand. you could take the checks and put them on a box with a lantern, raise them on their own and i was never quite able to save $18.98 to order the most inexpensive
incubator. this big catalog, some people called ordering books, other people called it the wish book so i have a child, it was my duty and responsibility to care for those chickens and i tell young children today some of those chickens never quite said amen but i'm convinced some of those chickens that i preached two in the 40s and 50s tended to listen to me much better than some of my colleagues listen to me in the congress. and there more productive. >> what would happen when one of the chickens becamesunday dinner ? >> i would protest. i didn't like the idea of my mother and father or some relative getting one of the chickens and having them for dinner. it was probably my firstknown nonviolent protest . >> what is your most recent book on your life in this form, in graphic novel form. >> a staff person of mine back in 08, came to me and
said congressman, you should write a comic book. well, the way it all started the campaign was over and he was going to go out to the fandango to comic con. and another staffer started laughing about it. you're going to a comicbook conference ? i said to the staffer i you shouldn't make fun of him. you shouldn't laugh. there was another comic book that came out in late 1957, early 1958 i believe. and it was called martin luther king jr. at the montgomery story area published an organization called a fellowship for reconciliation. a pacifist group and i said that little sold for $.10 but influenced many of us in the early days of the civil rights movement including the four students in greensboro
north carolina andmany of us in nashville . so this young man, andrew i , my co-author came back to me and said congressman, you should write a comic book. and i finally said to him yes , if you will do it with me. but the rest is history. and the book has done very well. this is just book one which they have booked to and booked three, book 2 will come out in the fall of oh 14. >> john lewis in walking with the wind and in march but one . you write about june 1951 and a trip with uncle otis. >> i can never forget that, i had never traveled out of alabama. for. i would say 11 years old. and i'm remembering so well my mother and her sister and
aunt of mine standing up late atnight . bacon, pies and cakes. frying chicken, wrapping in paper. putting food andshoeboxes . for us to have something to eat. as we traveled from rural alabama through tennessee through kentucky. two ohio on our way to buffalo. it was my first time out of the south. and i remember 11 years old in buffalo new york. it was my first time standing in the elevator, my first time seeing an escalator and it was so different. it had an impact on me. i saw black people and white people working together, living together. it was a different world. >> why did you make that trip ? >> i was there to spend part
of the summer with another brother or my mother and aunt and some of my firstcousins . >> another date in your history. september 2, 1986 . democratic primary. >> that was the election day in atlanta . in the six condensed congressional district of georgia . that was the runoff. it was a very difficultrace . with a close friend of mine by the name of julian barnes who we had worked together in a student nonviolent coordinating committee . we had been wonderful friends . he had served in the statehouse, the state senate. you wanted to come to congress and i wanted to come to congress. and it was a race that i never wanted to repeatone like that .
>> you one. >> i won, i prevailed. some people thought i didn't have a chance, that i didn't have aprayer. julia was so well-known . not just in atlanta around the nation. i probably was better known outside of georgia and alabama and mississippi and other parts of the deep south where especially in nashville that spent six years as a student . >> how did you get to atlanta? >> i moved to atlanta during the early summer of 1963, 23 years old. i became the chair of the student nonviolent coordinating committee better known as one of the major civil rights organizations. it was based in atlanta area i had just finished school and fish university in nashville and spent four years at american baptist college.
it was called american baptist illogical seminary and later became american baptist college and i spent two years studying philosophy . so when i became the chair, i had to move toatlanta . i love nashville. i fell in love with that city. it was the first city i lived in but i went to atlanta and spent a lot of time traveling all across thesouth . going to arkansas, southwest georgia. the delta mississippi and to louisiana. and north carolina, south carolina but atlanta presented me with an opportunity. to be the place, not just to be there but to come to washington to meet with members of congress, to come and meet with president kennedy with martin luther king jr. and others. a few weeks after i've been elected chair of the student
nonviolent coordinating committee i was in washington in the white house with president kennedy and i will never forget that first meeting with the president and then getting on a flight, flying from washington back to atlanta and preparing for the march on washington read that was 50 years ago. >> the were the big six. >> the day six were the head of the major civilrights organization . you had a man by the name of asa randolph. mister randolph was considered the dean of black leadership. he was born injacksonville florida . a wonderful, wonderful man. prince of a man and in some of those meetings he would say things likebrethren , let's stay together. we've come this far together. let's stay together and he would say something like if you cannot say something good about someone, don't say anything. it was so much respect for this man but along with randolph who organized the
brotherhood of sleeping car porters. represented the men working on the railroad. and when you come to washington, and walked through union station , there's a bus. as a randolph, he been honored. his own poster step. you had martin luther king jr., young martin luther king jr. with the president of southern region leadership conference born in atlanta georgia then there was roy wilson red head of the naacp. the national association for the advancement of colored people that born in minnesota , one wonderful man and then there was this with the young area who was born in kentucky. with the dean of the school of social work atlanta university and later became the head of the national urban league and another man by the name of james farmer. farmer had attended little waller college intexas .
and he was part of the debating team . this little school, this debating team evaded harvard and one. later, the graduate study at harvard university and became very involved with the naacp and later was one of the founders of the congress of racial equality and i guess i'm the six person. it was the six of us. then president kennedy and late june 1963. >> in july 1963 you are planning the march on washington . and you write in walking with the wind, i saw for the first time during the july 1963 trip to new york city our meeting took place at the roosevelt hotel and it provided my first real lookat the personality of roy
wilkins . i can't say i liked what i saw. he had held himself back when we met with the president here among just us wilkins was really asserting himself. we met in one of the hotel's private dining rooms and from the moment wilkins entered the room, he came across to me as some sort of new yorker who thought he was smarter than the rest of the group. what was memorable about that meeting that day, much more than the details of planning the upcoming march was watching the dynamics among theparticipants . it was a real exercise in power and positioning in political rivalry. when williams entered the room a dozen or so people were waiting to take their seats around the large dining table. wilkins immediatelyshook his head and began walking through the room tapping people on theshoulder saying who would stay and who had to leave . these were powerful people he was ordering around and he was not very polite about it .
he was particularly nasty to bayard rustin and he was hardly more cordial to the others. hedidn't suggest anyone leave the room. he demanded it . congressman lewis you write it was amazing to me that he would do that. even more amazing was the fact that the others obeyed. >> at that meeting and is not in any way i canforget what happened . those of the members of the big six had representatives at that particular day. he asked that each one leave and only the principal,only the head of the organizations remained . and that's exactly what happened. we stayed and there was a long drawn out discussion about who should head the march on washington. who should be the director and many of us felt that
bayard rustin, this planner, this organizer that he should be the head and there was this discussion because of my involvement and that he was gay and people like strom thurmond, maybe talmage of georgia or east mississippi would use that against the march on washington so we had a caucus. doctor king, james farmerand myself . and we said we would select asa randolph as the chair for the march on washington and let mister randolph select his deputy. and that's exactly what he did cause we knew bayard rustin was so close that mister randolph would turn to him as a black leader for what he did. no one but no one was going to question asa lorenzo.
>> welcome to index for october 2013. this monthwe're talking with congressman john lewis, democrat of georgia and the author of three books walking with the wind and the more of the movements was his first . the second came out in 2012 cross that bridge . and finally this past year march book 1. it was released as the first in a series. even if you like to participate, we will show you how. here are the numbers, 202 855880 585381 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. you can send it to an email or post a comment on her facebook page. if you want to send in a week at book tv is our twitter handle. facebook.com flash book tv is our facebook page and finally , book tv at c-span.org is
our email address. mister lewis will be with us next 2 and a halfhours so we will begin taking those calls in just a minute . >> august 28, 1963. what was that they like? >> august 28, 1963 the day of the march area for jobs and freedom. i remember the morning very well . i got up, got dressed . and i left the hilton hotel at 16th and k. downtown washington dc. i believe it was called a capital hotel. most of us stay there except for doctor king who stayed at the willett hotel. we woke up, someone drove us all up to capitol hill and we met with the democratic leadership on the house side. and the senate side.
we met with both democrat and republican leadership i should say. and it was one wonderful meeting them area i remember meeting every ferguson was the republican leader from thestate of illinois. wonderful man . fell today in my office i have a photograph of him meeting with him. we met with emmanuel sellers who was the chair, the judiciary committee of some new york city i believe he was from brooklyn. we left the meeting with house leaders, senate leaders. and we were coming down constitution avenue. and we looked towards union station. we all were walking together. and we sort of cac of humanity, just hundreds of thousands of people pouring out of the streets coming
from union station. and we knew that it was going to be more than 50 or 60,000 people. the people were already marching . and literally i know all of us felt like saying there go my people. let me catch up with them. let's this sea of humanity literally pushed us towards the washington monument on towards the lincoln memorial. and we just went off those steps and took our seats. and start preparing for the program. >> you're the only surviving speaker. >> out of the six, the big six and out of the 10 speakers i'm the only ones still around. i feel more than lucky area i feel very blessed. >> and walking with the wind you write a real leader doesn't see himself standing out in front of the people . he sees himself as standing among them. he doesn't tell people todig a ditch. he gets down in the ditch with them and help take it .
>> i believe that leaders must be there. you don't tell the people to go someplace that you're not prepared to go. you go together area you work together area you pool and bush together. real leaders must be servant leaders. we must be one of the people. during my chairmanship of the student nonviolent coordinating committee or during the early days ofmy participation , someone from the media would come up and say you're one ofthe leaders . i would say i'm just a participant and i still believe that today, i'm just one of the participants . i'm just trying to help. >> john lewis, whosucceeded you as chairman ? >> stokely carmichael succeeded me as chair of the student nonviolent coordinating committee in may 1966. >> why? >> that was the feeling on the part of some people that i was not militant enough.
i got the image of being a radical during the march on washington but i've always believed in the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence and that we must come together and not be divided. that we must not tear down. we must build and i don't believe in a lot of rhetoric. i believe in that 1-2-3 and adcs of producing and doing something. that was the way of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. >> at the same time and wash walking with the windyou talk about the generational differencesbetween the traditional black leadership and you as a young leader . >> during those days , many of us felt that some of the traditional older leaders were moving too slow. even at the march on washington i said you tell us
to wait . you tell us to be patient. we cannot wait. we cannot be patient. we don't want our freedom gradually. we want to hear and we want it now. so the sit ins, the freedom ride was not just a revolt against segregation and racial discrimination but it was also a revolt againstpart of the old guard leadership . >> march 7, 1965. >> march 7, 1965. on that day on that someday a small group of us, 600 people attempted to march from selma to montgomery. to dramatize to the state of alabama, to the nation and the world that people wanted to register to vote. in the state of alabama like so many other southern states it was almost impossible for people of color toregister to vote .
there was one county in alabama in march 1965 where they african-american population was more than 80 percent but there was not a single registered african-american odor in the county. in the little town of selma indallas county , selma is the kind of seat, this is in the heart of black only 2.1 percent of black voters were registered to vote. and only time you could even attempt to register to vote was on the first and third mondays of each month . you had to pass a so-called test. on one occasion a man was asked to count the number on a bar of soap and on another occasion a man was asked to count the number ofjellybeans in a jar . these had been arrested, they've been jailed. we had what provoked the attempts and in a little town called marion alabama, about 30 or 35 miles from selma
this is in perry county, this is in a black. this is the home county of martin luther king jr., coretta scott king. of the late mrs. angeli and young. this is the home county of mrs. ralph abernathy. juanita abernathy. there they were going to march one evening in february. a confrontation occurred area a young man by the name of jimmie lee jackson was a veteran. attempted to protect his mother. he was shot in the stomach. and a few days later he died at the local hospital in selma. and because of what happened to him we decided to march from selma to montgomery. so on sunday afternoon 600 of us orderly peaceful, had a prayer. we start walking into. i would never forget that day.
i was wearing a backpack before it became fashionable to wear backpacks . and then in this backpack i had 2 books. an apple, and orange. i wanted to have something to read. i wanted to have something to eat and i also had toothpaste and toothbrush and so i said i don't want to be arrested, i want to be able to brush my teeth and we get to the highest point on the edmund pettis bridge causing the alabama river. down below we saw a sea of blue alabama state troopers. and behind the state troopers , there were a sheriff's posse. a man by the name of jim klos was a sheriff and he was a very big man. he thought he was a general hand. he tried to dress like him area that you were a gun on one side and a nightstick on the other side . a pin on his left lapel that said never. he carried an electric cattle prod in his hand and he would use it.
we kept walking. towards this line of state troopers and the sheriff's posse. and a man spoke up and said major john five of alabama state troopers, this is an unlawful mark and it will not be allowed to continue to i give you three minutes to disperse. and return to your homes or to your church. this market will not be allowed tocontinue . and a young man named doctor king's organization who was leadingthe march with me. he was walking on my right side . said major, give us a moment to neil and break the major said trooper in the van, he sawhis meant putting on a gas mask. they came towards us . beating us with the nightsticks. tripping out with horses and lacing us with tear gas. i was hit in the head by a state trooper with a nightstick and i had a
concussion on the bridge and i remember my legs going up from under me and falling to the ground area i thought was the last protest. i thought i was going to die and i kept thinking what had happened to the other people. i don't recall 48 years later how i made it across that bridge. back through the streets of selma back to that church that we left from but i do recall being in the church full to capacity more than 2000 people on the outside trying to get into protest what had happened and someone said the people and i stood up and said i don't understand how president johnson can send troops to vietnam and he cannot send troops to selma to protect people whose only desire is to register to vote. the next thing i realized i had been admitted to the hospital with 17 other people. early that next morning doctor martin luther king jr.
and reverend abernathy's colleague came to selma, came to the hospital to visit us and he told me that he had made an appeal to religious leaders to priests and rabbis and nuns to come to selma and they did on tuesday morning. and a few days later to be exact president lyndon johnson spoke to the nation on march 15 1965. and made one of the most meaningful speeches any american president had made in modern times on the whole question of civil rights and voting rights and near the end of that speech president johnson said we shall overcome. that was the first time an american president used the theme song of the civil rights movement. he introduced the voting rights act. congress debated it, passed it and signed into law on 1964 's later we're going to
show you a little bit that speech. final date i want to ask you about, april 4 1968. >> april 4, 1968. if not anyway i can forget that the area i was in indianapolis indiana. campaigning with robert kennedy. i had, i heard senator robert kennedy was speaking the democratic nomination i had sent him a telegram and told him i wanted to help. and he invited me with some of his staffers to go and work in annapolis. to get people registered to help help organize area so i was there, mobilize enough . a rally would be heard that doctor king had been shot yet we didn't know, just that he had been shot.and kennedy
came in and it was robert kennedy made the announcement that doctor king had been assassinated. and we all just cried and it was very sad. if it wouldn't have been for martin luther king jr. i don't know what would have happened to me but this man had emerged as a moral leader of the nation area he was my friend. he was my inspiration, he was my big brother. >> rfk made a speech in indianapolis, didn't he mark. >> robert kennedy did make a speech, it was a trumped up speech and he stood on the back of a car. he spoke out of his guts. and because of what he had to say that evening , it was not any violence, any disorder in the city of indianapolis. it's just hard for me, people have been trying to get me to
go back and go to that spot but it's just very difficult. and one day i hope to have an opportunity to go back indianapolis and go to that spot that night that we heard doctor king had been assassinated. >> you for a lot of history gone back to the geographical places, why notspot . >> it's just so painful. the last place i heard doctor king had been assassinated. i think when you remember the places where you were. i was in nashville when i heard president kennedy had been assassinated . in indianapolis i heard about doctor king. i was robert kennedy's room at the hotel, ambassador hotel. and i saw it on television
when he was shot it's just terry painful. it took me years to go back to mississippi. not to the state but to the site where these three young men came up missing. in 1964. >> and walking with the wind you write something in the civil rights movement died for good in 1966 but something died in all of america in 1968. the sense of hope, of optimism, of possibility was replaced by horror area the worst of times, the feeling that just maybe we would not overcome. it was a dark time. >> i do think something died in america. and i think something died in all of us. that's why it's so important to find a way to reveal that sense of hope. that sense of togetherness.
that sense of brotherhood and sisterhood as simply one family, one people, one house that we all live in the same american house. >> john lewis is our guest on in-depth and david in hopes on florida, hello david . >> i peter, it's always good to you. always good to say thank god for c-span. congressman, we have started together in a lot of ways. i went to paste college at 41 part. in many next door was cause headquarters and i used to eat breakfast many mornings at a lunch counter in that building james farmer. and as it happens, i went to high school with two of stokely carmichael's sisters in the bronx. so we started, our lives have
not, we've never met butwe started . i want to take you back to a speech you made on the floor of the house in 1995. which i frankly find offensive area in which you said they're coming for our children . invoking pastor are on hitler. that was a terrible thing to say and i think you just we all america deserves an apology from you or it. >> you know what he's referring to western mark i remember the speech was dealing with all the things that the republicans and speaker gingrich had been proposing and if you feel offended, if others feel offended i don't mind saying i'm sorry and i apologize for it. >> lewis, newt gingrich represented the district next to yours for several years what was your relationship ?
>> we respected each other. i will always say hello to my friend, my brother. and when he became speaker i always call him mister speaker . we never disrespected each other. it was, we got along. it was part of the georgia congressional delegation and even on the floor the day that maybe, my brothers and sisters said i disagree with but i respected him. they're my colleagues, there my friends. we're brothers and sisters. we all served in the house but many times i see members and have them on the back and i say hellomy brother, how are you doing today ? >> in your memoir walking with the wind you spent a lot of time for there are several instances where you make reference to what i'm about to read and i want to get your reaction.
i am and have always been focused on and dedicated to doing the right thing which does not always mean doing the black thing. this kind of attitude did not sit well back in the 60s with some of my colleagues and it is not set well in the 90s some of my black colleaguesin congress . >> i've always tried to do what i felt and what i continue to feel is right. i believe in the depth of my heart and my soul that we must pull together to create a society at peace with itself. not a black society and not a white society. not a hispanic or asian american, native american. one people, one family, one house. in my book walking with the wind i told the storyabout growing up in rural alabama when i was 4 and a half , five years old and we were visiting an aunt and a storm came up.
we had been playing in the yard and she got us all inside the house and the wind started blowing.the thunder started rolling and the lightning started flashing and the rain darted beating on the roof of this shotgun house and she just started crying. shewas terrified that the house was going to blow away . all the little children inside the house and that's where i got the name of the book from. and as the wind continue to blow and the thunder rolling lightning flashing , from when one corner of the house appeared to be lifting she had us walk to the corner to hold the house up with our bali bodies and hold the house down and if another corner appeared to be lifting she she had us hold that but we were children walking with the wind but we never left the house so it doesn't matter whether we are black or white or latino or asian american or native american. one people, where one family.
where one house. where the american house but we also are part of the world house and we must do what we can to save this piece of real estate, call it america , call it some other port, call it this little planet. call it this little spaceship but we must try to save it. and live your together. in peace. >> john in virginia beach, hello. >> congressman lewis, it's an honor to you. i was just a couple of questions and i'll try to be brief. first of all i'd like to hear more about the womeninvolved in the civil rights movement . some people think they don't get enough credit for what they did and in particular i'm thinking of diane ãand seeing her asked a direct question to the mayor of nashville, the mayor of nashville had to agree with her. another question i had is i
don't know if you've ever met lyndon johnson but what did you think of lyndon johnson and what you thought of the man and what you thought of him as president and what do youbelieve his legacy is and what it will be in the future . finally i remember seeing you in chicago on the night barack obama was elected. trying in tears. i just want to hear you describe the wave of emotion you felt. that night when barack obama was elected in 2008. and i'll take my answer off the air. >> guest: thank you for your question. i've always felt and more and more i feel it more so today that women never got there do . women played a major role in the civil rights movement area i worked with diane she was our leader in the national student movement and she became a leader ,
nationally. she was the chair of our movement. we had what we called a central committee of a student movement in nashville and diane was a student, she was from chicago and she would attend those nonviolent workshops and hold us together. she would have organized asit in . he coordinated our efforts on the freedom ride but it was diane ãand ellen baker who should be considered the mother of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. she had worked with doctor martin luther king jr. and she was the one that planted the meeting for sick comedy student nonviolent coordinating committee was found. she went back to north carolina and went to shore university, the school that she graduated from but you had on the eastern shore of marylandin cambridge , a young ladyby the name of gloria richardson . you had a debate in little
rock and you go back to rosa parks and the women, it was not doctor king's idea of montgomery, was a college professor at alabama state read a young lady by the name of joann robinson used old mimeograph machines to get those leaflets but all across the south and all across america, there was women like black women, whitewomen, standing up and organizing . so women should be highlighted and the women lawyers like constable markley of the naacp legal defense fund was so brave and courageous thatwould come out and defend people . now, i don't want to forget your question. you mentioned women, >> lbj and barack obama. >> lbj, and president kennedy , yes but at that meeting
where i met president kennedy i also met and in johnson. and i said before the speech that lyndon johnson gave on march 15 and i wish every student of american politics, every high school student want to know anything about the civil rights movement, should read that speech of president johnson's. he started that speech off by saying i speak tonight for the dignity of man and for the destiny of democracy. at times history and faith need a safer place in man and freedom and he went on to say it was more than a century ago where i was for this last week in selma alabama. he condemned the violence in selma, introduced the voting rights act read and as i said before. he was the first one to use the theme song of the civil rights movement in his speech or in a statement.
when you said and we shall overcome. the morning of august 6, 1965, he called james farmer and myself. the only two of the so-called six to meet with him that morning when he signed the voting rights act in 1965. jet lyndon johnson was every colorful. and he used them choice words i cannot repeat area but he told us that we had to go back to the south and really get people to register. he was committed, he later spoke at howell university and other places area that he was committed to the civil rights. it has never received credit that he should receive area he ushered in the written great society. not only the voting rights bill, but medicare and medicaid. we got to fair housing act. done in his administration area i have high regard and
that's ultimate respect for what he did. the day president barack obama was elected, that doctor king church, not the old church but the new church , and then i saw the state of rhode island and pennsylvania go for him read i knew then he was on his way to being elected president. i jumped so high and i didn't think feet were going to touch the floor. and i started crying and a reporter asked me that evening. that john, we notice you are crying so much area and i said with the tears are of happiness, their tears of joy. they said what are you going to do, you're crying so much that you what are you going to do when he's inaugurated and he comes to washington. i said well, if i have tears left i'm trying some more and that's exactly what i did. when i was sitting there as
he was inaugurated i kept thinking about president kennedy, robert kennedy, president johnson and doctor king. the three civil rights workers in mississippithat were killed . and the countless people that would never live long enough to cast a vote or to get registered. or live long enough to see a man of color electedpresident . >> john lewis is diane ã still living? >> diane ãis still alive and in chicago. i see her from time to time. she's awonderful organizer . >> if you can't get through on the phone line you can send a tweet at book tv is our twitter handle and youcan make a comment on ourfacebook page , facebook.com/book tv or send an email . tv at c-span.org. cal in new york city you're on with congressman and author john lewis.
>> thank you and it's a privilege to you representative lewis . i was part of the occupy wall street movement in that early month and i felt that the moment that i knew personally the occupy movement would fail. was when you were denied a chance to speak at one of their rallies. i don't remember where it was taking place but i felt that occupy at the time was, they thought they were being very clever in rejecting a lot of the basic strategies that you and the other members of sncc had laid out, the basic bylaws of civil disobedience back in the 60s. i thought they felt were being clever area that if you didn't have a mission, you couldn't be contradicted area if you didn't have leaders they could be jailedor assassinated . and if you don't proclaim your goal, you can never be told that you failed or that your off message. i would love to hear anything
you have to say about the organizing strategies of modern organizations and how they have learned or failed tolearn from what you and other great men and women did way back when . >> the only thing i tried to do but particularly in atlanta, i left my office which was only a half a block from where they were occupying the park just to walk out and wish them well. and some of the people wanted me to speak i didn't feel offended at anything. i understood very well. but i tell you the young people and people not so young, read the literature area to study the movement, watch the videos. before we went on this city and before we went on the freedom ride, before we marched we studied the way of
peace, the way of love and the weight of nonviolence. we studied the great religions of the world. we studied therole of civil disobedience. we studied with doctor king and rosa parks in montgomery and we were ready . to study is very important . you have to be prepared and you have to have a vision and get other people to sharein that vision . and be of one accord. we said the people to accept nonviolence as a way of life. as a way of living. not as a simple tactic. >> and it across that bridge you talk about the occupy movement as well as the issues in egypt egypt faced over the last couple of years the is in harrisburg oregon, go ahead with your question or comment. >> high representative lewis. great honor to talk to you. i was interested in your take on the legacy of the civil rights movement and what you
are most proud of how other moments throughout the world have used it to motivate their own protests against oppression and contrarily i was wondering what's the greatest example of misuse of the civil rights legacy to really try to motivate people to be more oppressive rather than to increase freedom. i'll take my answer off-line. >> thank you very much. >> the little book i have completed with one of my colleagues, march , one. it's a graphic novel it was really to help inspire another generation. earlier i spoke of doctor king's book, the martin luther king jr. story of montgomery. it's a comic book but people
in egypt and other parts of the world and south africa and others used this book as a tool, as a technique to get the message the way of peace, the way of love, no way of nonviolence area did you create a mass movement and i appreciate the fight, the fact that when you travel almost any point in the world today people know something about the american civil rights movement. >> ..
and not be satisfied, disturbed the order of things. >> host: john lewis, after your election victory, upset election victory over julian bond in 1986, what happened to your friendship? >> guest: our friendship was not destroyed. for a few months, maybe almost a year we didn't have much to say to each other, but we are as close as ever today. >> host: you also write about andrew young, that there were some attention in your relationship. >> guest: a&e young, some of us thought and the young who said he would be neutral, we felt he was not that neutral. but today we are the best of friends. >> host: of the politician from georgia, former president carter. >> guest: president carter, i see president carter from time to time. i run into president carter. i worked for him for three years here in washington. entering the 50th anniversary of the celebration of the march on washington i spoke before he
did and we spent some time together talking and reminiscing. he's a wonderful man. he's a wonderful friend karen what you worked with him for a while? >> guest: for almost three years. >> host: john lewis has referenced president johnson's speech and voting rights a couple of times. we want to show you a little bit of that. >> we cannot, we must not refuse to protect the right of every american to vote in every election that he may desire to participate in. [applause] and we ought not and we cannot and we must not wait another eight months before we get a bill. [applause]
we have already waited 100 years and more, and the time for waiting is gone. [applause] so i ask you to join me in working long hours, nights and weekends if necessary, to pass this bill. and i don't make that request lightly. far from the window where i sit where the problems of our country, i recognize that from outside this chamber is the outrage conscious of a nation -- conscience of the nation. the great concern of many
nations and the harsh judgment of history on our acts. but even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over. what happened in selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and state of america. it is the effort of american negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of american life. their cause is the our cause, too. because it's not just negroes, but really it's all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. and we shall overcome.
[applause] >> host: congressman lewis, almost 50 years ago that speech was made in the house of representatives. when you look back, which changed? >> guest: because of the work of individuals in the congress and a president like lyndon johnson, john f. kennedy, he made a speech in may of 1963, or june, rather, 1963. and the involvement of hundreds
and thousands of our citizens, i think we have witnessed in america, what i like to call nonviolent revolution, the revolution of values, the revolution of ideas. and our country is a better country and where better people. i know there are some people saying john lewis, you're just too hopeful, or just too optimistic. but you have to be helpful. you have to be optimistic. the fines -- was going up, they are gone. those sites are current and you will not return. the only children and those children will see the signs will be in a book, in the museum, on a video. the region that i grew up in is a better region. people are better people. we are on a way to the creation of a truly multiracial democratic society. when i go back to troy, alabama, or to montgomery or birmingham
or places in mississippi or south or north carolina, the people, they want to see us take that great leap forward. i think that people are far ahead of the leaders here we need leadership in parts of our country, many parts of a country, at the local level, at the state level. >> host: back to "walking with the wind" come something was born in selma during the course of that year -- bank and 65, but something died there, too. the road of nonviolence had essentially run out. selma was the last act. >> guest: the selma, the selma movement was so peaceful, so orderly. people were so committed. and we didn't follow through. we didn't follow up.
there is a need to pick up where we left off. we made it from selma to montgomery, on to washington with the passing of the voting rights act. people got elected. but we can learn from selma. we can learn from the mistakes, the blunders. that's why during the past 13 years with a group called faith and politics i've been taking members of congress back to birmingham and montgomery, , to selma. on our last trip we went to tuscaloosa, and i tell you, i wish the whole of america could have been a witness to see what happened. to have governor george wallace his daughter and his sister, one of young people that governor wallace stood in the door and tried to block, is now married to the attorney general of the united states, to have these two
young women engage in a dialogue on the campus a university of alabama, and the president of the university of alabama, a woman, i believe the only woman president of an sec school, as the moderator was amazing. and when these two women finished, there probably was not a a dry eye in the building. but to go back to place like montgomery where i was beaten, where i almost died on the day of the freedom ride when we arrived on may 20, 1961, and the local police chief meet this delegation. several members of congress, members of the kennedy family, members of the johnson family, and that young chief come in to
speak to us. he was not even born during the days of the freedom ride. i doubt he -- he may be 40 or 45 years old may be. but the chief came in and spoke and said, mr. lewis, when you were here during the freedom ride, our police department allowed a mob to beat you and leave you. i want to apologize for that. i want to show you that our police department today is different. we teach people about the civil rights movement, about montgomery, about selma, about birmingham, about nonviolence. but he said, i want to do something else. i want to take off my badge and present it to you. i said, chief, you can't do that. i said, don't you need your badge? he said, i can get another one.
i said, i'm not worthy of accepting your badge. he took his badge off and gave it to me. and the members of congress, other police officers there and people from all over america, four or 500 people, just all moved by this. the south is changing. and it's my belief that the american south one day lead the way, make america a better america, the good america. >> host: kerry emails into, congressman. are you hopeful -- pardon me. about the future in light of recent developments like the supreme court decision on voting rights and the trayvon martin case? >> in spite of the supreme court
decision on the voting rights act, which i consider a setback, because i thought that decision put dagger in the very heart of the voting rights act of 1965, even with the decision in the trayvon martin case i'm still hopeful, still optimistic. i said to people all the time, and i will say it again today, that you must never ever be lost in a sea of despair. you must be hopeful. you must be optimistic. you must continue to fight and stand up and do what you can to create a better society. we have to work. we just cannot go to sleep. we have to be in the arena and be fighting for what is right, for what is there and for what is just. >> host: paul e-mails into you come with the increasing gerrymandered districts what are your thoughts regarding the future of american politics and
the two-party system? >> guest: it is my belief that in spite of these gerrymandering of congressional districts around the country, and i think that's why we have such a polarization today in american politics, the american people are smart. they get it. and one day, and one day very soon we're going to see a transformation in american politics. the people are going to vote for individuals and not simply because one happens to be a member of a particular political party. >> host: congressman lewis, arvin tweets into you. what are your objections to a picture id requirement for voting? it is amazing, he writes, that voting is based on trust here. >> guest: voting should be based on trust. we should open up the political process and let people come in.
we shouldn't be afraid. i said at the march on washington in 1963, i said one person, one vote. i saw women in southern africa consensus of one man one vote. i said in washington street one man one vote is the african cry. it is ours, too. it must be ours. it doesn't make sense in a country such as ours to say to some man or to some woman, 95, 93 years old who never had a driver's license someplace in rural pennsylvania or rural north carolina or georgia that you must have an id to be able to vote. some people say we are afraid of fraud. but people in alabama, in georgia, in mississippi and other parts of the south, and before them, women for many,
many years could not register and vote here in america. just open up the process and let everybody participate. >> host: another date, december 21, 1968. >> guest: december 21, 1968 was the day that i get married to a beautiful, beautiful young woman who was born in los angeles, attended los angeles high school. i guess it was called hollywood high, and went to ucla, usc, later to the peace corps. she became a librarian. she loved the books and she loved to read. and she came south. she followed the civil rights movement, kept up with the movement. we met in 1967 1967 and we were married in come on february 21,
1968. >> and she just passed. >> guest: she just passed last new year's eve, december 311 of last year. >> host: you were married by what he referred to as -- who you refer to as daddy kane. >> guest: daddy king, dr. king's father, we all called him daddy king. before my wedding, and daddy king said in the ceremony, he said obey lillian, you obey. and everybody in the audience just broke up laughing. he said you obey. what you obey? >> host: why did they laugh? >> guest: because they thought he was instructing lillian to listen, because she was a little feisty and thought she needed some encouragement to obey her husband. >> host: what's the last year of your life been like without her? >> guest: well, i think about her all the time.
i still wear my wedding band. it's just hard to take it off. i miss her. i wish she could be here and witnessed the changes that have occurred with our son and my own life and be able -- she was my closest and dearest friend. she was a wonderful companion. she gave me great advice, and she worked so hard in my campaigns. she kept aware of everything. she would everything, the newspapers, books, everything. when someone told me, they said you should make this young lady. you travel all the time, you love to go to the airport. she would pick you up and she would take care of you, and so you need someone to keep up with your papers, your writings and that type of thing.
and i'm sure she's looking down from heaven and her spirit is still with me. >> host: and where is john miles, your son today? >> guest: our son is at home in atlanta. he's in the music and technology. he loves sports, but he really loves music more than anything. >> host: norman in haslett michigan is go ahead with your question or comment for author and congressman john lewis. >> caller: congressman lewis, first of all my condolences on your loss. >> guest: thank thank you, sec, you have been one of my heroes, and as a disabled man for the last 25 years, i have some idea of what it is to be discriminated against. but i wanted to ask you if, do
you think that part of the right wing conservatives, the tea party folks, do you see like an inherit racism and what their agenda is against social services, against the president? i think it's very disturbing some of the things that they propose, and i was wondering what you think about that? >> guest: well, i don't like labeling people. i don't like -- i believe we all have our capacity, and ability to change. that's what i take members of congress and try to get them to walk in other peoples shoes. on one occasion a few years ago
ascended from one of the southern states went with us to birmingham, montgomery and selma. and he came back and he said to me, he said, john, if i'd been on this trip earlier, my voting record would be different. i think sometimes you have to get people to walk in other peoples shoes. people have to see and feel and sort of taste something for themselves. i'm not one of these that are quick to label someone. you know, i don't think any of us are born -- widow come into this world putting people down because whether they are able or disabled or whether they are of a a certain race. i think we are taught to dislike, we're taught to hate. because we come in here in ascent. i try to look up and see every person at -- sometime along the
way they were innocent little children come just little babies, and something happened to them along the way. on the other hand, i think in our society today i think that individuals may be in american politics that feel that in order to get ahead or state elected they must be seen as crusading against something rather than for something. >> host: in "across that bridge" in the reconciliation chapter, you write, at the root that is why we are engaged in the struggle now in the congress led by one group of people who truly believes their role is to defend the privileges of the elite. >> guest: well, you know, i think there's a feeling somehow and some way that they been elected, i think they are individuals that, this is my
role, this is the role i must play, i have been chosen to play this role and i must play it well. rather than looking out for everybody. it would be important for people to try to walk in the shoes of others. i didn't understand a people make it in our society. for people, and they are black, they are wide, their latina, their asian american, native american. they need help. and the government, our government, this powerful government should be there to assist and to help people, to help the children, to help women and the disabled, feed the people, close of the people, provide housing, that is the role. stop spinning so much of our limited resources on bombs and missiles and guns. we should be a little more humane. i think there should be some way
that we can humanize america, humanize our institutions, our educational institution, our financial institution, and humanize our politics. >> host: in the faith chapter in "across that bridge" you write, faith, to me, is knowing in the solid core of your soul that the work is already done, even as the idea is being conceived in your mind. it is being as sure as you are about your dreams as you are about anything you know as a hard fact. >> guest: yeah, i believe that. i believe that there's a son that is already dying. you have this idea, you have this goal and you have to actualize it. you have to make it real because it's already done. when we start talking about the sit ins or the freedom ride or march and selma to montgomery, you know in your gut, you know
the victory is already one. there can be no turning back. >> host: that's when you said when you first got arrested in nashville in february 1960, you said you felt set free. >> guest: oh, , yeah. i felt free. i felt liberated. if individuals become liberated, then the greater society, the country, will be liberated. you have two believe it. >> host: girding in new jersey. did i put you that name? >> caller: hello? >> host: is this girding? , yes. can what's the name of your town? >> caller: [inaudible] just today it was meant to be. >> host: please go ahead. we are listening. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: hello. i wanted to speak to representative lewis to tell him
how happy i am today that i happen to be flipping through the tv, and there you were. i have admired you for many, many years. your spirit is love and empathy and hope, and it's the same spirit that i have. i do want to read the book that i see you have come out with. i have two grandsons that i certainly want to read that cartoon book two, and also the hardcover book. i just want to check and see if i got right title. is it called "walking with the wind"? >> guest: one book is "walking with the wind," yes, and the other one is a cartoon book, and is that also called -- i couldn't get it as they were saying, as he was saying what the title was when he first turned to it. >> guest: it is called "march," book one.
>> host: there it is on the screen, yes. i do hope that my family and i will be able to come to washington, d.c. and visit the capital. and i would love to meet you in person. i think you are a wonderful, courageous man and a man that's full of love. and as martin luther king said in one of his letters from prison, love will always be stronger than hate. i believe that and i know you believe it, to try to take you. when you come to washington, come to my office, and in my office we have a gallery of historic photographs from the '60s with the dr. martin luther king, jr. and with others. >> host: congressman lewis, in walking with a when you write about after your election, september 2, 1986, 52-48 you beat julian bond in an upset. 18 staff positions, 15,000
applicants for those positions. do you still attract that national audience of people who want to work for you? >> guest: well, that was a lot of applications then. even today we get hundreds and thousands of letters, e-mails from people from all around the country, and for people around the world. there's not any way that we can hire or see everybody, but we get -- around kings birthday celebrations, major cities and towns, state governments, places abroad want me to come and speak about dr. king. it's impossible. i have a day job, a full-time job as a member of congress representing the people in georgia. but everybody would like for me to come to address a group of
college or university. and we get requests from hundreds and thousands of student groups to meet them on the capitol steps. we see a lot of young people from around the world, and i enjoy talking with students and change in tone them about the movement and "march" photographs and videos. one thing, it keeps you young to engage with the students. and a lot of these young people, they don't believe it. they do not believe that i got arrested 40 times during the '60s. so how did you do? did you think about giving up? i never thought about giving up. i couldn't give up. i couldn't get in. >> host: doug brinkley writes in the forward to "across that bridge" about you. he forges onward, that rarest of politicians who draws the respect of every call it on both
sides of the person i am. when he stepped to the podium people hush. everyone wants to hear the spirit of greatness. that is the fruit that john's life has born. do you ever get tired of reading things like that about yourself? >> guest: i try not to read it, because you start reading and keep reading it, you start believing it and i don't want to believe it. as i continue to say, i just tried to help out. i just try to make a little contribution. i didn't like what i saw growing up, and i knew there was a better way, and people like gandhi and martin luther king, jr. and rosa parks provided a way out, maybe a way in. >> host: in "march" the graphic novel, the most recent, one of the early stories in who you kind of flip back from current day to your past life, and one of the stories here is a woman bringing her two sons to your office and you were there.
is this allegorical or a real story and how often does this happen? >> guest: this is a real story. people come all the time and i believe -- on that occasion it was a day of the inauguration that the women came in. but i get letters and telephone calls. i want my children to meet you. i just want to come by for five minutes. we try to accommodate people, and sometimes people will wait. and they come from a distance. somebody will write a letter, make a telephone call and come all the way from california to washington, d.c., or from some other part. if i make it to washington i want to come by and see you. and i have people come up sometime, and it's not just i want to -- are you human? another problem we have, and they get so embarrassed, and my staff people will tell you, that people walk in and they start crying. people say i'm going to cry, i'm
going to pass up. i say please don't pass out, i'm not a doctor. please don't do that. and we had that problem sometimes. if i am someplace doing a book signing, i think people, the american people are good people. as human beings we are good. and people want to share their feelings and their emotion, and i understand that. people say i want to hug you, and i will say things like, it's okay to give a hug? and i will say, it's okay, i need a hug. >> host: charmaine is coming from anchorage, alaska. >> caller: hello. how are you today? >> host: please go ahead. >> caller: i'm a native of alabama. i attended alabama a&m university, in one year with doctor bonnell slaughter from political science department we
attended selma for bloody sunday and i had the excellent opportunity of meeting you alongside with rosa parks and a lot of outstanding people that i've always studied about. and i've been living here in anchorage, alaska, for ten years. i'm an employee for the deer of land management, and i was able to receive my masters degree in urban and regional planning, and i was so gung ho about coming here and working in everything, but i'm working here in anchorage, alaska, in corporate america. i find it very hard to advance as a black female. and i was just wanting your intake and your words of encouragement for helping me to keep hope alive and just being
accepted more as an individual. not just because i am black but because i'm an individual and i'm a human being and that nothing but love and harmony and peace that runs through me. every day i try to instill in me the words that might 89-year-old grandmother tells the come and she lives in rural alabama. she tells me to do everything to do with love. i've been applying for management because a look at myself as a lead and the workers i work with tell me all the time on a daily basis that i should be a supervisor, i need to be in d.c. to make changes in things. i would just like to hear some of your thoughts to kind of help me keep that fire alive. >> host: thank you for calling. >> guest: thank you very much for calling. i have been to your university and then to huntsville, and they
get that from time to time -- i get there. thank you for your service and your work in the government. i would say don't be, bitter or hostile. keep the faith and never give up. faith and hope and love, continue to work and hang in there. pursue your dreams come and your dream will come true. >> host: jason post on our facebook page, thank you for helping design an effective youth movement. i'm a student at university of pennsylvania who has helped form a youth led statewide social justice organization directly based on sncc. often young advocates are marginalized in community work. could you please talk about you and others come to you and were able to negotiate the sncc voice to the front of the civil rights
movement? what lessons can young people learn today from sncc? >> guest: jason, you're doing the right thing i studying but we attempted to do in the student nonviolent coordinating committee. as you well know, before we went on any protest like a sit in or freedom ride, that we studied. we studied and we abused ourselves with the philosophy and with the discipline of nonviolence. we never ever tried to put someone down. we were always trying to respect our opponent and our fellow human beings. be organized and be honest and truthful and have goals and follow your sense of what is right, your sense of what is fair and just. not only be persistent but also
be insistent, and operate on great principles. hang in there. >> host: kl is calling from montana. you are watching booktv on c-span2 and i guess is author and congressman john lewis. >> caller: thank you for all your hard work over the years. i question pertains to indian tribes of the united states. legally, we are still wards of the federal government and we have utilized every civil rights tool we can from voting rights act the tribal sovereignty initiatives. but i just find perplexing that the bureaucracies that the federal government creates by them like the bureau of indian affairs and now a new one called the office of special trustee. they take 85-90 cents of every dollar that congress appropriate for indian tribes, and also -- hits the reservations and then
we lose some of our most brightest and brilliant talent to these federal bureaucracies. it are not coming back to the reservations because of the jobs that are end up federal bureaucracy. i just want to ask you how i can we switch that around, indian people? >> guest: i have a great deal of concern about what is happening to indian people, to the indian nation. during the carter administration i had an opportunity to get out and visit a few years ago to be exact about three years ago, i had an opportunity to travel to oklahoma and visit the cherokee nation. on one occasion i went to arizona and visit the navajo nation. organize and continue to bring people together and get people
to never ever forget the land they come from. and get politicians, elected officials, members of congress, people in the obama administration to come out and visit and to see what is happening to indian people. >> host: in "march" he talked about how you planned and studied and got ready for civil rights activities. you also planned and study and tested each other on how to prepare to get arrested or harassed and you go through and there's a great visualization in this book about how you would torment each other essentially prior to going to a sit in. we each tried to do everything we could to test ourselves, to break each other spirit and
tried to dehumanize each other. you can see some of the drawings and captions here on this page. you literally spit on each other, blue smoke in each other's face, called each other names? >> guest: we really did. we called it role-playing. we call it social drama. one worries that we shouldn't -- one word that we should use come no one should ever use it -- >> host: you write the n-word in your. >> guest: i remember, a waitress said to one of the participants, she said we don't serve n-word here. we don't serve n here. this young man was so quick and he said we don't eat them. people thought this would really, really funny, and i guess it funny to her and funny to all of the participants.
but it was an attempt to prepare people for what could happen and to be ready. people were ready. it became one of the most display movements because we had a young man by the name of jim lawson, wonderful teacher, really young methodist minister, attended vanderbilt university in nashville. he worked for the fellowship of reconciliation. he had traveled to india and studied the way of gandhi. dr. martin luther king, jr. would come to nashville during the spring of '19 60 and he would say the national student movement was the most disciplined, it was well organized and able there are accepting the way of nonviolence as a way of life, as a way of living. it was there many of young people like diane nash, bernard
lafayette, ct vivian who is going to be on tasha honored by the president in a few weeks with the medal of freedom. these young people that not only go to gel and get arrested but they went on the freedom ride and they became organizers all across the south. and today many of these young people are still working for social change them for social injustice. >> host: december 1, 1955, 50 miles from your house near troy, alabama. what happened in montgomery, alabama, and what you remember? >> guest: december 1, 1955, a young woman, rosa parks was arrested for refusing to get up and give up her seat. to all white gentleman -- to a white gentleman.
because of the action of rosa parks, it was a mass meeting a few days later and it was in that meeting for martin luther king, jr. and others spoke, the decision was made to have a bus boycott. i remember, i was 15 in the tenth grade, i remember it like it was yesterday. i followed, as a young person, growing up there, i followed the drama of montgomery. it inspired me. at the time we didn't have a subscription to a newspaper but my grandfather had one at each day when he was finished reading his newspaper, we would get a newspaper and read it. we would listen to what happened in montgomery. and many of my teachers that he had in school, they would, during the week to teach and
over the week and they would go back home to montgomery. and he would tell us about the montgomery bus boycott. when i had an opportunity to meet rosa parks two years later in 1957 and to meet dr. king three years later, it changed my life. i was so inspired by dr. king and rosa parks during the montgomery bus boycott that in 1956, with some of my brothers and sisters and cousins, we went down to the public library in the little town of troy, alabama. i was only 16, to try to get a library card to try to check out some books we were told by the librarian that the library was for whites only and not for collards. i never went back to the public library in troy, alabama, until july 5, 1998, by this time, i'm a member of congress, for a book signing of my book, "walking
with the wind." we had a wonderful program. many whites and african-americans showed up. we had food come with something to drink. at the end of the program, the end of the book signing, they gave me a library card. >> host: leslie, new york, hello, thank you so much. it's a little touching, i mean, hard to speak after what you just shared and a poignant that you married a librarian, too, and a wonderful that they knew the story and could give you a library card. that's beautiful. so i have built my whole week around watching you live because you have been a hero for me for so long. i just had a question, congressman. as you shared, you know, in 1968 something eight something died in the american consciousness. for me it did. i was only ten years old but
watching dr. king and bobby kennedy being assassinated change something for me in fifth grade and i devoted my life to that. and now as an adult i am wanting to create a curriculum for young people that will help to inspire the same kind of fire in the belly that we are talking about today and be inspired by this vision of the beloved community and civic engagement and character building, , and that commitment to racial justice and social justice and economic justice. if you have some thoughts you could share on what we might bring to young people. really i am thinking third-grade through graduate school, young adults, and how they can inspire and in view that vision, i would be very grateful. thank you. >> guest: well, "march: book one" i have been using of growing number of schools. one leading college or university in america is using
the book for all freshman, and other schools are considering. i'm going to be speaking at the convention or social studies teachers in st. louis before the end of the year. but with "march: book one" there's a teaching guide. you could contact the publisher, top shelf, in the book. but i would recommend "march." it is for young people to learn about the civil rights movement, but to learn the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. >> host: scott e-mails in to you, congressman. as a nonliberal, 60 something white guy from the northwest, i am enormously proud to claim you
as a fellow citizen of these united states, despite our differences of opinion on many, many topics. thank you for all that you've accomplished for our country. affirmative action has succeeded in many ways. however, like all good ideas it also has and attended side effects. we all know that it must in some day, that it seems that nobody wants to talk about that as yet. so when can we begin to talk about declaring affirmative action a success, build monuments to in all big cities and then sunset it? >> guest: well, we are not there yet. we have not yet created the beloved community. we have not yet created one america, one house, one family. there is still a need to affirm the inclusion, to affirm the participation of all of our citizens in the american way. it doesn't matter whether they
are black or white or latino or asian, native american pig doesn't matter whether they are gay or straight whether they are protestant or catholic, jewish, buddhist, religious or nonreligious. all of us must be included. so there's still a need to affirm the involvement, the inclusion, the participation of all of our citizens. >> host: another e-mail and this is from -- looks like mrs. rainy. as a lover of statistics and the pursuit of truth, i feel that civil rights activists, julius hobson, could be a colorful and serious role model for young peoples imaginations. however, many parents might object to his staunch atheism. question one, did you know julius hobson? and you think a picture book on him could be acceptable? >> guest: i did know julius hobson. he was a wonderful, wonderful
man with a vision, with great ideas, a true activist. i think it would be fitting and appropriate for there to be a picture book on him. there's great stories of julius hobson that need to be told and shared, , not just with the washington community but with the american community. >> host: did his atheism holding back in the end. >> guest: i don't think it did because i don't think many people knew his views when it came to the faith community. >> host: in "march: book one" to write that the first time he ever saw your name in print was in the montgomery advertiser newspaper, front page, and a headline, boy preacher. >> guest: i do remember that. i do remember that very well. the picture of me holding a
bible in the montgomery advertiser. the paper back then they had what they called the colored section of the paper, and they had a black person as the white editor as -- >> host: why were you in it? >> guest: there was a local committee there of young people announced the boy preacher from troy, alabama, received his license as a baptist minister. >> host: are you still a baptist minister today? >> guest: i consider myself baptist and i from time to time i am called upon to deliver a sermon. i just recently spoke at the baptist church in washington. they were celebrating their 150th anniversary, so i tied it all together in a sermon,
being the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation. this church was started in virginia, and later the church was bombed or burned rather. many members of the congregation left virginia and moved to washington, and here, the church grew and grew and grew, , and today this church is one of the strongest churches, place of faith in washington, d.c. i remember coming with the dr. king and others holding meetings at this church back in 1963 and 64 and 65. there's a wonderful place. but i also tied it to the 50th anniversary to the march on washington, the distance with, and 150 and later 50 years. >> host: next call for john blues comes from nancy n
georgia. >> caller: i consider this a great honor and a really appreciate it. i think congressman lewis is a perfect example of the words the greatest among you shall be a servant. i recently moved to georgia and i been learning about a woman here who was the granddaughter of slaves but she was a principal of a segregated school. her name was edna knight bodie. she lived -- left an endowment to the college, and now lagrange college has a center for a servant scholarship and i wondered if congressman lewis is familiar with the concept of servant leadership and knows robert greenleaf on the efforts that the university of virginia for servant leadership? >> guest: thank you very much. i have been to lagrange college a few short years ago, delivered
the commencement address there and i have an honorary degree from the college. on my way from atlanta to alabama some time to visit my younger brothers and sisters and before my mother and father passed on the go there and before i 85 would come right through the heart of downtown lagrange so i knew it very well. i know about the whole idea of servant leaders and leadership, yes that's what i i believe ind that's why i encourage young leaders to do to try to be servant leaders, and leaders must lead. they must show the way and not just get out front each time but be prepared to do the nitty-gritty hard work. >> host: fresno, california,,,
please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: helical thank you. it's an honor to speak with you. at the time of his death, dr. king was fighting for economic justice. i would like to ask about reparations for blacks. what happened to the 40 acres and a mule promise? black men overpopulate the prisons, stand your law ground facilitate the murder of young men like trayvon martin. our voting rights are being shipped away. why are not black politicians mobilizing blacks to fight for economic justice in the form of reparations? something like the marshall plan to go into urban cities with a sustained effort to erase the poverty, which is the root of the problem of all of the blacks. >> host: thank you.
>> guest: many african-american elected officials and others stand up, they speak up, they organize and we talk about economic justice. we try to get more resources. there's been this ongoing fight to get resources for black farmers that were discriminated against. many farmers that were discriminated against, native american farmers and others. we don't think in this climate in this environment that we're going to see outright payment of something called reparation. there've been efforts, has been legislation introduced, but our efforts must be to do what we can to see that all young people, it doesn't matter whether they are black or latino or asian american, native american, get the best possible education, that they get jobs
and make contribution to the larger society and stop warehousing people in our penal institutions. >> host: from "walking with the wind", congressman, it was at this time i began believing what i called the spirit of history. others might call it fate or destiny or a guiding hand. whatever it is called i came to believe that the force is on the side of what is good, , what is right and just. it is the essence of the moral force of the universe. what is the spirit of history? >> guest: i believe, i had a teacher, i do know how this came within my being, but he had a teacher in this teacher was named john lewis powell, a philosopher teacher at american baptist college. he would run around the blackboard with certain ideas and he was like a flying saucer.
he would just run with a lot of energy. he was not a very young man but he could move. like something was hitting him. i just have this belief that whether you want to go someplace or not, you may want to go in another direction, or maybe you just want to stand still. but there's some force, and i call it the spirit of history, that track you down and said this is the way you must go. this is what you must say. this is what you must do. and i feel today, i felt it back during the '40s and '50s when i was growing up very, very poor on that farmn i had to ansr the call. when i heard the words of martin luther king, jr., i was already young. but when i read about rosa
parks, i knew then that i had been -- i do know what to call it but i lay there, started calling it the spirit of history. that's it. this is your calling. this is what you must do. dedicate yourself to the calls of justice, to the call of what is right and what is fair for all humankind. >> host: john, one of the other said, shaking his head, you have to stop preaching the gospel gospel according to martin luther king and start preaching the gospel of jesus christ traitor that was a young man by the name of james balfour, young man that i love and admire. he was so smart. and he was smart at the same time. he could be very loud. he was my roommate for a semester and they could take him anymore. he would just walk down the hall preaching and he would go to the
shower preaching and just being everything just preaching. what he called it the gospel of jesus. be talked about what dr. king was saying and i was saying, the preaching of martin luther king, jr. is the preaching of jesus. it's the social gospel. he's making it real. he's not talking about over yonder, by-and-by, but he's talking about the here and the now. and we argued. i tried to convince him to attend nonviolent workshops, and not until he heard that we've been beaten and arrested and going to jail he became convinced, and he became the great profit in essence. he became the group organizer. he was the one that helped create the children movement during the birmingham movement. he became converted to this idea
of the cost of martin luther king, jr., the social gospel. he became the great believer. >> host: congressman, what did your parents, older generation, land owners, but what if they think of your activities in college? >> guest: when i first got involved in the movement and my mother heard about it, , she thought i was crazy. she thought i had lost my mind. .. rep. john lewis: she understood what i was saying was trying to say to her. she was a friend. and i would be in jail for a long time. i would be beaten.
she cared for me. and many years later, one of my younger brothers told me that remember growing up, and i would get telephone calls. in my mother said don't tell me. she did not want me to be afraid or to worry. they lived in constant fear. they that the house would be burned . they thought there would be a form. they that they would lose the land. but after the voting rights was passenger was able to register to vote, my own father, my own grandfather was able to register and she became a crusader. everybody should become registered to vote and she was so proud. that i was elected and later to
congress. i regret so much that she didn't get to see the presidency of barack obama. she didn't live to come to washington. she loved to see president clinton in atlanta. and i come there and see local people elected in alabama. it. peter: with a ever threatened back in the 60s. rep. john lewis: they were threatened with telephone calls but no one ever burn across. they got telephone calls. my father became so proud. he was so proud that i was involved in the people would ask him is that your boy. is that your son. he was very proud did. peter: producer of this program, always asked arm guess what they are reading and what some of their influences are in with some of their favorite books are.
book tv's online book club selection for october is rep. john loses walking with the wind. a memoir of the moment. >> is a young child, i face discrimination and i do not like it. i asked my mother and my father my grandparents, and my great grandparents. why racial is. do not get in trouble. don't get in the way. but in 1955, i was in the tenth grade. fifteen years old. i heard the voice of change on the radio in the words of doctor kate inspire me to find a way to get in the way. in 1966 with five brothers and sisters and some of my first cousins, went down to the public
library in that little town of troy, alabama and try to get a library card. we tried to check books out. and we were told by the librarian the libraries were for whites only. and not for collards. but on july 5th, 1990, only back to that library in alabama. for a book signing of my book walking with the wind. hundreds of blacks and white citizens shut up and they give me a library card. [applause]. walking with the wind is a big faith and hope and courage. it is the story of hundreds of thousands and countless men blacks and whites who put their body in the line during it very difficult. in history of our country to end segregation and racial discrimination. >> no reaso need to register.
but your thoughts anytime on her book club chat room. book tv .org. every day in the month we will post questions including links to the interviews with the author, book reviews, and videos from our archives. peter: congressman lewis, one of the people that you listed was the reverend kelly miller smith. it was that. rep. john lewis: this man, one-of-a-kind. he was born in mississippi in the part of the delta. in atlanta, undergrad and his divinity degree from howard university in washington dc. and then he attended college in
nashville. he was a wonderful wonderful minister. he was ' first baptist church in downtown nashville. this church was an old brick building with an overlapping growth and the membership came out of the balcony of the church. it has existed since the days of slavery. in tennessee. it was low heated and one of the meeting pieces during the height of the movement. he would go there and you would hear him preaching. this man dead in his sermons are short. only ended at 12 minutes. but when you heard his sermons and heard him speak, you were
ready to get out and move your feet. he was tall, handsome. he spoke with authority. he believed what he was saying and he lived it. he was concerned about all of nashville. fights nashville. he wanted to bring the city together. i loved him. he inspired me. he lifted me. peter: we have a little less than an hour left. congressman john lewis also author and civil rights leader.
rochester new york. please go ahead with your question or comment. guest: . [inaudible]. peter: i apologize. it's it difficult to hear you. there is break up in the phone. guest: let me take you off of the speakerphone. peter: we will put you on hold but we will come back and we will chat with you for just a minute and the control room. and we will get you back. speakerphones do not work. with all of the technology, it would make it a lot clearer for people to hear if you put it on
handsets. melissa from tucson arizona. guest: hi. i'm an activist from the 60s in detroit. i spent my life studying from north maryland, and rosa parks, wonderful human beings. i live in tucson arizona . one of my at the ground zero for the civil rights movement. mexican-american studies and remain school district. a couple of years ago. for me this is on par with getting evolution in school. with desegregating schools. peter: melissa, are you saying that they do not teach civil rights in tucson schools. guest: .
[inaudible]. they banned the mexican-american studies. i'm sure the congressman is aware of this. to make it big deal out of it. but the people do not come. our university community did not come. and so american studies are banned. i feel like people like john lewis, it would've been a priority. a lot of people anchored that. peterrep. john lewis: anyone dan the not-too-distant future i will have an opportunity to come and visit and come and speak. several of my colleagues in the congress have urged me to come to tucson and phoenix and other parts of arizona. i look forward to the day to
come and visit some of the schools in some of the organizations. peter: congressman when you see or hear about how civil rights is taught in school today. i was learning enough. are we teaching the next generation enough interview. rep. john lewis: we need to do much more. in some places, in places like california. there are organizations and groups there, student groups, study groups, and one high school teacher based in northern california organize something called something that aspirated many brought more than 5000 high school students to the south for ten days. to come in groups of 100. i spoken to every single group except one. they come to is alina and the
visit and they go to montgomery, they go to selma, birmingham, jackson, mississippi and little rock memphis. and they recruit students from other parts of the country from cleveland, new york city, new orleans to travel. it is a way of learning. it is not a tool. they have to do papers, read books, watch videos. i get on students in my own city of atlanta and i say rather than going on vacation someplace or someplace and having fun. maybe should do a field. just a day trip. two birmingham or selma to lea learn, to walk in other people's shoes. peter: september 15th, 1963. rep. john lewis: and as impossible to forget september 15th 1963. on the sunday morning, i was so in alabama.
i was visiting my mother and father and younger sisters and brothers. we heard heard that involved had gone off at the 16th street baptist church in birmingham. i received a telephone call from my office in atlanta saying that you must make it to birmingham. my mother and my father did not want me to go. they did not want me to board a bus. the same uncle that i had traveled with buffalo was that hesitant. who lived about 60 miles south of troy. said i know what to do. so he took me to a little town, south of troy. so people would not see me getting on the bus. and i would board a bus there travel through troy to make it to birmingham.
i made it to birmingham that sunday afternoon i met my friend julian there. there is a great photograph of the two of us standing across the street from the church. there was a sad dark time. to see what happened when those four little girls were killed on the sunday morning. i cannot forget that. i stayed there for the funerals of the four little girls pretty doctor king delivered the eulogy for three of the little girls. and it was there because of what had happened in birmingham that sunday. we intensified her work to get the right to vote in mississippi. and in alabama and especially the south. peter: what is the longest tent that you did in jail or prison.
it. rep. john lewis: the long semi's potential was in mississippi during freedom rise. it was about 44 days. jail is not a pleasant place. and to be in jail in alabama and mississippi. any place and stuff. to be jail. you lose your freedom to go, and just be in a private sale or a private cellblock. the food is not the best. we conduct nonviolent workshops. we sing songs. tell o'farrell to let my people go. down in jail.
but it was there that we became the band of brothers and sisters. our young people, white and black got arrested and put in jail. we would get arrested together. we would sit down together. manifest together. we are in the waiting. and to get to the jail, they would segregate us. peter: what is the last time you were arrested . rep. john lewis: it was here in washington dc. at the embassy. i got arrested there twice. we were protesting against the white people before had been treated. i've been arrested four times. twice at the embassy and once at the south african embassy and
one at a major company in atlanta because of the investments in south africa. speapeter: wasn't coca-cola. rep. john lewis: it was not coca-cola. they're trying to use their influence to change things in south africa. it is another major corporation. peter: please go ahead with your commoner? rep. lewis. guest: thank you very much. thank you for cspan. i watched daily and i love it. thank you congressman lewis for your citizenship and your endurance and your hard work to build a more perfect union. i'm a little nervous. so the conservative movement. he was saying that there are winning in the tea party and agree with him. the conservative movement by
using narratives. to pull this country further and further to the right. my question is aren't those so-called privileges of the elites really entitlements that are taken off of the backs of the working class. is there a way that we can take some of the words like entitlements and other phrases that the use and disrupt on them. puppet back on them and show them how they're actually the ones. they are cheating. they cannot win without cheating. districts that they could not otherwise when. what else can we do to flip the script. peter: thank you very much. stuart we must continue to put
together and work together and our message must be caught up in the end that we see. we want to create a more peaceful union not perfect union. a more just union. then the way must be more peaceful and more just. we cannot use the methods and techniques of another group. we only two saying together. it and we must look out for each other and to build a move towards the beloved community. peter: i deeply respect and
admire you however i am a former schoolmate of supreme court associate justice clarence thomas in an deeply disappointed in his to do so philosophy do you have any comments pretty. rep. john lewis: is a member of congress, i remember that i had been invited to testify when he was being considered to become a member of the supreme court. i was one of the people that testified against him. i just didn't think he had the temperament. and i didn't share his political philosophies to be a member of the united states supreme court. i just think is the nation and as a people, we can do much better. peter: had you gotten to know just in thomas . met him long before he became a member of the supreme court.
i was one of the few african-american members of the congress of the time. maybe only went to be with him. peter: rochester new york. please go ahead. guest: hello are you knowing. i haven't seen you since 1964. i was a member. as a matter of fact, i worked. [inaudible]. rep. john lewis: i remember the convention very well. i was there german of the committee. i got to know people traded and mentioned her is one of the women that stood up. she was so brave . she was
tough. she had a great voice. she knew how to use the voice to organize people through her songs are needed she was courageous. guest: top of her head to the bottom of her feet. i was there when we were guarding her. rep. john lewis: i remember it very well. another leader from the delta of mississippi. guest: he got me involved. peter: if you could, give us a brief synopsis of your life. tell us what you have been doing since back in 1964. guest: . [inaudible]. i came to california 1965 our unit and it worked with a group
to take the kids to the college. ten days through black college. he recruits black college students. that could be a grad school system. i worked there. i'm about four years younger than john. peter: thank you. sorry about that, i thought you had finished. rep. john lewis: thank you for your great work over the years. guest: rep. lewis, i want to thank you so much. you put your life on the line for what you believe did. i called richard butler and legislative hearing. i got a lot of press. but as you near i am still
alive. i was at that sanford florida deal for trade. there were 30000 people there. i was so excited. there were less than 50 white. i am disappointed in the civil rights movement. in february, it was hundredth birthday of rosa parks. and in central florida, we did nothing. in july of this year, was the 60th anniversary of integration of the military. would you gotta think truman part because i'm when on into the mine car, i saw an integrated organization. thank you for your work. you are so organized and educated. a lot of people don't know about
the power of the civil rights movement. peter: thank you sir paraded. rep. john lewis: thank you very much sir. i agree that we must continue to organize, mobilize and also educate and inform. knowing your history and southern history of people need to read. i was very young growing up in alabama. night had a wonderful teacher is read my child, read and read and read some more. and i tried to read everything. peter: thank you server service. what is your thoughts of the inward. rep. john lewis: i don't think we should use the inward pride i don't think we should use it,
and is negative. we should not use it. it just should not be used. we should respect the words and dignity of every human being. peter: could mr. lewis tell us something about a person we may not know. rep. john lewis: there's a great deal about this person. he grew up in chester, pennsylvania. he was early committed to the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. back in the late 40s, he was on something, reconciliation journey. similar to the freedom ride by the 1961. early on, he was looked upon as
a socialist. he was smart, wonderful organizer. a real thinker. he believed in organized labor. he was a fighter and a crusader for justice. he was very helpful and very optimistic. he believed that somehow in some ways we can truly build an integrated society. where no one would be left out or look behind. it was a wonderful friend. peter: was his homosexuality a big deal of the time . rep. john lewis: think during the 60s, that people within the movement, within the civil rights movement discriminated against him. simply because he was gay. they did not want to see him out
front. they tried to present him but keep him from being the leader of the march in washington in 1963. there one of then of march in washington. rep. john lewis: most people within the ir case of the civil rights movement now he was gay. at one time he had been arrest arrested, on the shores are in california or someplace because he was gay. people try to hide that but he never tried to hide. peter: walk with the wind. this is somebody you put braided 70 writing about you. if you tell us who this is. the poker game continued as i moved away into the bear hollow
sounding living room. one of the guys the floor caught my eye became began to sway and around body. he was john lewis, the secretary and wendy he would be own people by not being militant enough. there was nothing militant about john. he was all leventhal. and just to be with him made you smile inside even though you knew it would never make it because it was too sweet. it is dancing was laced with mischief. we would bring to the center of the floor and in two months and administer putting on a show. it. rep. john lewis: i think that was the actress. sherry mcaleenan. writing that about me. rep. john lewis: i remember it very well. it she came south. she wanted to meet people within the movement.
she was there. she was wonderful. like so many of the people from entertainment world. they wanted to get to know people with in the civil rights movement. it individuals who became very supportive. like tony bennett and shirley mcclain and into the march. we came in they wanted to identify the march on washington. they wanted to say we stand with you. i remember barbara dillon coming to the delta of mississippi. he would play his music.
joan baez and others. peter paul and mary. they were all there. those were the days of hope and optimism. that people were prepared literally to put their bodies on the line. to use their sense of the feeling of their capacities to say yes, we stand with you. yes we are with you. peter: your 73 years old. any plans to retire from congress. rep. john lewis: i am 73 but i don't feel 73. i feel much younger. in my own staff. they all are much younger than i. that they keep up with me.
peter: is a point of pride . rep. john lewis: i am very proud. the made in atlanta. and it is right in the car. i would run. and there would be hundreds and thousands of people. i would literally run through the streets of atlanta and shaking hands with people. peter: night after you've won your election, september 2nd, 1986. one of her staffers had arranged for a limo to take you to the victory party and what happened. rep. john lewis: i said no, we are going to walk. i've always wanted to walk. up and down the streets in atlanta and we would literally get out and we would walk. there's my wife, lillian. she's walking with me. proud and happy just a wonderful evening to be able to walk and
there's nothing like a victory march or walk. peter: bill in massachusetts. it. guest: how are you. rep. lewis. it either want to offer my sentiments on the racial situation. about a half a century. on your comments. i believe that a lot of tragic over the last decades if people assessed the situation properly. i believe that there is obviously white racism. excuse me. as a believe there is black racialism. i also believe that the white racialism in the black on the basis of sexual - and no one likes to talk about it. the only people who talk about it or comedians. i want your opinion. i also want to add if you are
honest about it. it's really a sexual crime. because all he did is muscle at a white woman. and look at the price he paid all of because of whistling. that's pathological of people don't even talk about it in terms of the sexual basis of the murder. i would like your assessment. ultimately, it's also spiritual. but ultimately. would you tend to agree that there is a sexual aspect to racialism that people will broach. rep. john lewis: and is my hope and my belief that some way we should never put anyone down disguise or a because of their
race or their color because of their gender. we should look upon each other as being a fellow human being. a brother or sister. that we are all members of the human race. paint is too heavy of a burden to bear. i heard the father say and say many times 18 is a too heavy of a burden to bear. rep. john lewis: august 28th 1955. i was 15 years old. i had to work in the field read and it shocked me when i heard
it. mike first cousins about the same age living in buffalo, and in niagara falls and new york. they would come south during the summer and i kept thinking. to be one of them. it could've been one of them. peter: didn't scare your family, your neighbors. rep. john lewis: i would hear people say that you must be careful of what you say. and what you do. my family at the time, they just didn't talk about it. they were very quiet. but every so often, i would hear them say like the night riders may be coming. it was for the night riders but years later, i still say the
night riders with a plan. that was the klan. they would come with her narratives. i never knew of the clan coming on that part of alabama. what i would hear plans in montgomery. or in birmingham or someplace else. but not around where i grew up. peter: dear member the first time he met. rep. john lewis: oh yes. i do. we have people come by from time to time and we were called the rolling stone man. it would be selling a product. to be an old broken down bus or pickup truck. and converted into a mobile store. so the rolling star man is coming.
and he would be selling things like maybe sugar or flour or bacon. maybe a flavor or something. and sometimes my mother would want to trade a chicken which i didn't like. i didn't like treading a chicken for flower or for cooking oil or something. peter: that was your first interaction with white people was the ruling store man. rep. john lewis: yes. peter: here's a picture here. two rover the first time that you realize that black people were treated differently than white people. rep. john lewis: oh yes, when i would visit with my parents are cousins in the little town of troy. and went to a theater to see a
movie on a saturday afternoon. we had to go to the balcony. all of the little white children had to go downstairs. and in the corner of the store, and a water fountain. there would be a shining fountain march right. and then in the spigot in the quarter, the same quarter, mark colored. he would go to a store and using sign sing weitzman, colored van. , white women, colored women. i saw that as a child. i would ask my mother about it. i would ask my father. and i would ask my grandparents. otis my uncles. why this or that. and sometimes they would say, boy, that is grown folks business. and some would say that is the
way it is. don't get in the way it don't get in trouble. and some people i say rosa parks and doctor king inspired me to get into the way and get in trouble good trouble. necessary trouble. i do not like the signs. i wanted to do whatever i could to bring down the signs. peter: next yes greatest and had. guest: is an honor to speak with you. this might deepest conviction to lift blacks out of poverty. marshall plan in world war ii. many people say, we have to target blacks in particular nor economically downtrodden due to our legacy of slavery. so my question is, what can be
done to target the eradication of black poverty because symbolism without substance is nothing. rep. john lewis: back in 1963, and 64 and city five, the late randolph made a proposal to the president, to congress. to introduce something called the freedom budget. and i believe, i am not sure about the numbers but i believe he's proposed something called the budget, of $100 billion to free people, to liberate people from their legacy of slavery. that is never considered by present members of congress. but we do need something rated
that would free and liberate hundreds and thousands and millions of our citizens. not just african-americans but all people. peter: trustee e-mails and. since you are so close to bobby kennedy and dr. martin luther king jr. they sell is your warmest memory from your working with both of them. rep. john lewis: martin luther king junior was a special human being. i love the man. he was my inspiration. he was my leader. he was like a big brother. to be at the march in washington on 50 years ago. and if he there. to hear that i have a dream . deeply rooted in the american dream. it a dream in keeping the
american dream. to see him transform the steps of the lincoln memorial into a modern day time. i can hear him now. i can see him now. i just wish more people would understand what he said and what he did. years later, on april 4th 1967, he delivered a speech in the riverside church in new york city. i wish every student, every young person in america, everybody in congress to read that speech. to listen to that speech on tape. peter: is at the one where he came out. rep. john lewis: against the war
in vietnam yes. and i spoke about the bombs that we were dropping in vietnam. the aftermath of the result would affect america. and it was a year later, he was assassinated rated. peter: when was the last time you spoke with him. peter: i was in a meeting with him in march of 1968. an expletive. paschal's restaurant. it was needing place were black people can eat. it was one of the few places were black people and white people could meet today together. they could sit down together for a long time. it was in the era of atlanta university when you're had more house colleges. in atlanta university and caught a college.
and he would organize its, black people, white people. asian american, native americans read hispanics, coming together to go to washington for the poor people's campaign. he was unbelievable. he was a man that was so funny at times and so serious at other times. one occasion i remember being in alabama and we are passing by some one with the restaurant he said we would should stop. get something to eat. and we would go to jail on a full stomach and he thought that was so funny. and sometimes he would say to me, we can still preach. and i said yes doctor king. specially if i had taken a
shower. it would make him laugh. he thought it was opening. rep. john lewis: i called him doctor king. it has always been doctor king. i had so much respect and love for the man. he was unbelievable. the bobby kennedy ran i admired him. i admired him to. he inspired me. he was very fond of paraphrasing words. i dream of things that never were. and say why not. he was a dreamer. he was a believer. in one occasion he said, in the spring of 1963.
he said, john i now understand, the young people, the students. you'll have taught me something rooted he understood it he felt in his heart. he felt in his gut. but the struggle was all about. so when doctor king was assassinated in 18 to atlanta for the funeral. he was one of the few white politicians in america that could walk the streets of atlanta. for more than a mile for doctor king in the heart of the african immune american community. peter: you ever tried to meet with their hands or hand. james are alright. as to what no one ever tried with either one.
never tried. peter: jacky and louisville, kentucky. guest: and is an honor to meet you mr. lewis. here in louisville. peter: need to turn volume in your tv. guest: i was locked up. or he has been locked up for six years now. didn't, and the judge, he is the one is keeping my son locked up. all because of the law in his
hundred. and then he is black. in all of the racism is still there in hopkinsville. there are other guys still there there doing it the same ways like they used to do it back in the 60s. they're doing it now and it different snake your way. and still there. peter: what is the charge. guest: 38 robberies. he didn't even know the people. all of it is because of this person. this judge, he wasn't supposed to be on his case. the prosecutor, is doing everything two.
peter: let's hear what the congressman has to say. rep. john lewis: . rep. john lewis: i'm not been a lawyer. and i'm not from louisville. i cannot give you any advice. i would suggest that you talk and speak to the local officials and community leaders in louisville. peter: a couple of callers have raised the issue of young african-americans in prison. and in the book the new jim crow, about the size of the black prison populations pretty much of it because of drugs. honey feel about the legalization of drugs . rep. john lewis: we have got to find a way to break the cycle. with that ended. there's this high flight of some
of the young people many young african-americans. our being sentenced for many years. we have got to stop it. we need to find a way in this administration to lessen some of these convictions. the prison system has become a real industry in many parts of our country. and most of these crimes, they are nonviolent crimes. we've got to redirect people away from the prison system. peter: carmen, right here in washington dc. hi. guest: hi. i don't think anybody said good afternoon to you yet. so high and we appreciate you. this is undated a billion times an honor to speak with you
congressman. the me just say, all of the stuff that is going on. i called your office about two weeks ago now. and before this shut down red i was talking about the care in this country. i was telling your office and i left my phone number. but it now you're. i was in dc. he's in georgia pray to fully understand that. but we all have health issues in this country no matter what city or county or state that you're in. and after hearing you speak, the march in washington. i said i am calling john lewis that's all there is to it. it so why was trying to expect from your office and i wanted to speak to you so much. voted to get get in touch with you. i am a diabetic. of a type two diabetic.
and for 29 years of investment, the doctors could not do a thing about my diabetes. a very active person. anointed imprint and no . peter: i apologize for interrupting. you are short on time. if you can get to your point. guest: i just wanted to know or say, i healed my diabetes. i got cataracts in both eyes. and i healed like kidneys. i didn't have to have any of that stuff done. and i just wanted to talk with somebody to see if i could get in touch with somebody and capitol hill to help pretty i know your history. i just need somebody. i can call your office back tomorrow read. rep. john lewis: waited to call me tomorrow. i will be in the office. just call the operator.
they can direct you to the office. later number and i will call you back. peter: congressman, do you get a lot of calls. rep. john lewis: we get a lots of calls and from all over the country. in some from time to time. we have a very large staff but we tried to be responsive when trying to answer the e-mails freighted to five but at same time your elected by the people. rep. john lewis: i am elected by the people of georgia. there's about 700 or so people. it is very hard to keep up with everybody. but we try to be responsive. peter: congressman right do you feel that president obama has been vilified. rep. john lewis: i think, my mother would say that this
president, president of barack obama, had been called everything but a child of god. that is the way she would put it. i think president obama, i've known a lot of presidents. i have met with every president. had one on one with the most part, with every president. since president kennedy. president reagan on one occasion and bind me to come to the white house. and i didn't understand why he wanted me. he found some piece of legislation and invited me to come. and he made a point to say is a young man here today, i was here so many years ago rated the president kennedy. he was signing a housing bill. and i think someone on the staff for some reason. i had a wonderful chat with him.
peter: thousand first term as a congressman. rep. john lewis: that's right. it was only there two years with president reagan. and i remember president ford created the only president of the didn't meet with in the white house, was president nixon. peter: point out. rep. john lewis: never invited me. i saw him after he was out at the airport at washington. and he said to me, you're jerry lewis. and i said no mr. president. i am john lewis. i sent jerry a jerry is from california and i'm from georgia. so which chatted for a while at the airport. peter: what was your relation to check with george w. bush. rep. john lewis: it was wonderful. i got along with him. i talked with him. the young bush.
i remember seven to one of my staff people. he said honey feel working with an american hero rated the staff person didn't know what to say. but i got to know both of them rated. peter: bill clinton pretty. rep. john lewis: he was a friend. he has a friend. he is a friend. you know he wrote something about march 1. the book and he was just wonderful. peter: congressman john lewis has been a resounding voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years. and someplace that is sharing his memories with the civil rights movement with america's young leaders in march. he brings the whole new generation with him across the admin ridge from the past of clenched fists into my future
with outstretched hands. that was the clinton bullring march. rep. john lewis: president clinton came to selma and he is the first president the only president that came and walked across the bridge as president. he did it. and president obama came when he was running. and today, i consider to have president clinton, president obama and president carter. to have the three presidents at that anniversary of the march on washington and to speak, to the three of them. those too much. i don't know if my mother would've said, or my father would've said, that to be
sitting on the steps of the lincoln memorial with three presidents. it was almost too much. peter: walking with land is john lewis his memoir prayed life lessons for change. it came out in 2012 read ... ... chair the student nonviolent committee, met in 86. he served as a democratic representative of georgia's fifth congressional district until his passing. you can watch all of representative lewis a book tv and c-span appearances online
at c-span.org. >> up next on book tvs "after words" dinesh d'souza offers his thoughts on the difference between 20th century socialism and socialism today. he argues that must be stopped. he's interviewed by author and institute senior fellow benjamin powell. "after words" is a weekly interview program entering top nonfiction authors about their work all "after words" programs are also available as podcasts. >> 's even five years ago it would be hard to imagine a book called the united states of socialism being published. but a lot has changed since the then. and so the fairly obvious answer to my first question but a lot of these books have been published about socialism and what is change of the past five years prayed they all have a little bit of a different take on it in a different point. so the non-