Following the passing of Civil Rights activist John Lewis on Friday politicians and citizens have advocated for the Edmund Pettus Bridge to be renamed after the late congressman.
Lewis was a civil rights icon in the height of the 1960’s known for giving an opening speech at the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech. Lewis was also one of the many activists who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama in the incident known as “Bloody Sunday” where police brutally beat protestors who were seeking voting rights reform.
The bridge in Selma, Alabama is currently named after the former KKK Grand Wizard Edmund Pettus who also was a politician in the state. Changing the name of the bridge has been an issue in Alabama, and now with what seems to be an iconic person to re-brand the bridge the calls will likely grow louder.
South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn supported the bridge being named after Lewis. “Edmund Pettus was a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Take his name off that bridge and replace it with a good man, John Lewis, the personification of the goodness of America, rather than to honor someone who disrespected individual freedoms,” Clyburn said on NBC’s Meet The Press.