30 Most Inspiring And Powerful John Lewis Quotes

30 Most Inspiring And Powerful John Lewis Quotes

John Lewis” by “Lorie Shaull“, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

John Robert Lewis was an American statesman who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th Congressional district from 1987 until he died in 2020. Lewis was one of the ‘big six‘ leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He was highly inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists to raise his voice against the unfair treatment of black people.

Lewis is also best known for his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and for the march which became known as “Bloody Sunday” 1965, where state troopers and police attacked the marchers, including Lewis.

John Lewis has given several powerful and inspiring speeches in his lifetime. Here are 30 John Lewis quotes from his speeches on racism, human rights, democracy and discrimination.

John Lewis Quotes on Racism!

John Lewis was born in the era of racial segregation when segregation was legal, yet he had a quiet happy childhood. He got to experience racial segregation when he was denied admission to Troy University in Alabama, and that is how his journey to eliminate racial discrimination started. Here are some quotes against racism by him.

“I believe race is too heavy a burden to carry into the 21st century.It’s time to lay it down.We all came here in different ships, but now we’re all in the same boat.”

John lewis

“I really believe that all of us, as Americans… we all need to be treated like fellow human beings.”

John lewis

We are one people, one family, the human family, and what affects one of us affects us all.

John Lewis in his book “across the bridge: a vision for change and the future of america

I believe in freedom of speech, but I also believe that we have an obligation to condemn speech that is racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, or hateful.

John lewis in the book “Walking with the wind: a memoir of the movement” co-authored with michael d’orso
“The scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in the American society.”

When growing up, I saw segregation. I saw racial discrimination. I saw those signs that said white men, colored men. White women, colored women. White waiting. And I didn’t like it.

John lewis in the Fresh Air Show interview with david bianculli in 2009

Obama is not an African American president, but a president of all Americans. It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, Hispanic, he’s the president of all races.

John Lewis

“My parents told me in the very beginning as a young child when I raised the question about segregation and racial discrimination, they told me not to get in the way, not to get in trouble, not to make any noise.”

John lewis in the Fresh Air Show interview with david bianculli in 2009

John Lewis Quotes on Human Rights!

Lewis as a civil rights activist, has participated and lead marches and movements to fight for the basic human rights that every American should have. Here are some John Lewis quotes on human rights.

“Too many people struggled, suffered, and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote.”

John Lewis

“These young people are saying we all have a right to know what is in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, and the food we eat. It is our responsibility to leave this planet cleaner and greener. That must be our legacy.”

“Darkness cannot overcome darkness, only light can do that. Violence can never overcome violence, only peace can do that. Hate can never overcome hate, only love can do that.”

John lewis in his book “across the bridge: a vision for change and the future of america

“Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”

John lewis

“We will stand up for what is right, for what is fair and what is just. Health care is a right and not a privilege.”

John lewis in All in with Chris hayes on october 2013

You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim, or diminish your light.

John lewis in his book “across the bridge: a vision for change and the future of america
“When you lose your sense of fear you’re free.”

John Lewis Quotes on Democracy!

John Lewis being an American statesman, has worked towards providing democratic rights and freedom to the people of America. Here are few quotes by him on democracy.

To make it hard, to make it difficult, almost impossible for people to cast a vote is not in keeping with the democratic process.

John lewis

Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?

John lewis in his book “across the bridge: a vision for change and the future of america

The government, both state and federal, has a duty to be reasonable and accommodating.

John lewis

What I try to tell young people is that if you come together with a mission, and it’s grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible possible.

John lewis

“Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.”

“A democracy cannot thrive where power remains unchecked and justice is reserved for a select few. Ignoring these cries and failing to respond to this movement is simply not an option — for peace cannot exist where justice is not served.”

John lewis

“The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy.”

John lewis in an interview with jamil smith “the long march of john lewis” on mtv news

It was not enough to come and listen to a great sermon or message every Sunday morning and be confined to those four walls and those four corners. You had to get out and do something.

John lewis

John Lewis Quotes on Discrimination!

Being a civil rights activist, he always stood up for wrong and right, fair and unfair. He never supported and got involved in any form of discrimination. Here are few quotes on discrimination by him.

When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.

John lewis in his speech at martin luther king day in january 2017

“I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s and find a way to get in the way. To find a way to get in trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Not one of us can rest, be happy, be at home, be at peace with ourselves until we end hatred and division.

John lewis

I believed innocently and profoundly as a child that the world could be a better place.

John lewis

You cannot be afraid to speak up and speak out for what you believe. You have to have courage, raw courage.

John lewis in his twitter post from july 16,2014

Too many of us still believe our differences define us.

John lewis

“We need someone who will stand up and speak up and speak out for the people who need help, for people who are being discriminated against.”

Non-violence, compassion, peace and equality are some of the greatest components instilled in John Lewis’s mind, and that is how he keeps on inspiring generations after generations with his powerful words. We hope these quotes inspired you towards righteousness. You can also check out these 38 Quotes by Nelson Mandela on Success and Education!

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