We learned in 2020 that the way we always did things is a thing of the past. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to laws and policies passed that separate people of color from their basic rights as an American. We cannot continue to stand on the sidelines and let people suppress the people of color voices. It is time to overcome the division among us to come together for a common cause that is a basic right to all Americans: The right to vote!

Rep. John Lewis was a man of action. He fought for equality and justice for all which started at a young age. He was inspired by the voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. talking about the philosophy and the discipline of nonviolence. I believe that John Lewis felt obligated to stand up, speak up and speak out.

He was an organizer of the March on Washington which is famous for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” He was a leader in the famous march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama named “Bloody Sunday.”

He is most famous for his role as the United States House of Representative. Rep. Lewis believed in his motto “Good Trouble” — Fight peacefully for what is right. A Freedom Rider who challenged the segregated south and received beatings and sometimes even arrest consequently. That did not quiet such a powerful voice that is still amplifying even beyond the grave; still exhorting us to continue the struggle for justice, in the eloquent words of “Good Trouble.”

In 2021, we find ourselves continuing the fight of equality in the election process that started some 60 years ago by Rep. John Lewis and all the other civil right activists in the Civil Rights Movement. I believe we can and will rise to the occasion and stand together with the message that voices of color will no longer be suppressed. Together we can rise and say enough is enough and division will no longer be tolerated. Together we can get into some “Good Trouble.”

The National John Lewis Day of Action represents “Good Trouble” for everyone to get involved in. It is a time of action to bring awareness to voter rights and voter education.

I urge you to join me and others in Morgan County on May 8 at the Old Middle School located at 920 Pearl Street at 2:30 p.m. to be a part of the “Votercade” or view the Votercade in the neighborhood. Let’s stand together to spread the common message: Every American has the right to vote! Everyone who is eligible to vote should – register to vote, educate yourself on candidates/issues, vote, vote, vote! Let’s join everyone across the nation to stir up some “Good Trouble!”

Pastor Lonnie C. Brown

President, Morgan County NAACP

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