The Rev. Jesse Jackson paid tribute to Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a longtime civil-rights leader, on “Americas News HQ” Sunday after the congressman died of pancreatic cancer Friday night.
Reflecting on over 60 years of friendship, Jackson detailed the life and legacy of the civil rights icon, telling Arthel Neville, “John Lewis represents the hope of America.”
The congressman’s storied fight took him from protests against Jim Crow laws in the South, including the 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march in Alabama known as “Bloody Sunday” – during which Lewis led hundreds of demonstrators to the apex of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and was brutally beaten and nearly killed by state troopers.
The moment galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year, Jackson explained.
“He showed the power of voting, the power of non-violence, the power of coalition politics,” Jackson said.
Asked whether he supported the movement to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Lewis’ honor, Jackson said, “It’s a bridge of hope now.”
“The resurrection takes place not far from the crucifixion,” he explained. “People come from around the world to see the spot where the crucifixion took place… now, it’s a bridge of hope, of new possibility,” Jackson went on. “Now, Native Americans can vote, Blacks can vote… women can vote.”
Jackson said the bridge, once a symbol of tragedy, now represented a “bridge of triumph.”
He concluded, “That’s why I think it would be appropriate to name the bridge after John Lewis.”
Fox News’ Arthel Neville contributed to this report.