The Levin Family in a Joint Tribute to Congressman John Lewis

July 19, 2020

WARREN, MI - Former Senator Carl Levin, Former Congressman Sander Levin, and Congressman Andy Levin released a joint tribute following the loss of Congressman John Lewis: 

“Amidst the immense sadness engulfing the entire nation and our family with the passing of John Lewis, it helps to remember moments of happiness and meaning when he touched our lives. We thought we would share a few pictures of when two generations of our family had the opportunity to work with this giant of a soul and changemaker, John Lewis.

“John Lewis was undertaking his passion to register Black voters when Sandy first met John while they were working together in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Here with Jackie Parker, their ample heads of hair make clear that this was nearly fifty years ago, in 1971. Decades later, John and Sandy met again as Congressmen, becoming friends and near brothers sitting next to each other on the Ways and Means Committee.

“Carl co-sponsored with John Lewis the Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King Congressional Gold Medal bill that eventually became law. The 36th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Conference and U.S. Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus program featured a photo commemorating this with Martin Luther King III, Coretta Scott King and Carl. 

“John had come to Michigan to lead a get-out-the-vote rally in support of Andy’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination.  He gave a fiery and humorous speech to a standing-room-only crowd.  Before the public event, he gave an extra hour of his time to meet with young people organizing to end gun violence.  None of them will probably ever forget it. Which is more emblematic of John – the public appearance or the extra, private meeting to encourage young people’s activism and education? The truth is, there is no understanding him without both.

“Finally, we cherish the picture of the four of us in the tumult of the Capitol moments before Andy was sworn in as a member of Congress.  

“Today our nation faces a unique challenge and opportunity to realize John Lewis was all about—a real chance for everyone to face systemic racism squarely and answer it with his brand of universal human kindness. John Lewis was outspoken and passionate, but none of us ever heard him say a hateful word, even in private moments. He was determined to turn anger into action. May all of us rededicate ourselves this day, and each day hereafter, to what John Lewis stood and fought for his entire life.”

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