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Rep. John Lewis talks civil rights at MSU

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

This month, Michigan State University is reflecting on a landmark moment in its 16-decade history. On February 11, 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior came to campus to launch a fundraising drive for a program that would send volunteers on an educational outreach mission to Mississippi. During that speech, Dr. King called for what would later become the Voting Rights Act of 1965.Fifty years later, MSU is again studying civil rights with a three-part visiting lecture series.

Cong. John Lewis of Georgia is the first in a lineup that includes singer and activist Harry Belafonte and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Lewis was a Freedom Rider, he spoke at the March on Washington in 1963 here Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and he was at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the story of which many people are coming to know for the first time in the movie “Selma".

Current State’s Kevin Lavery spoke with Congressman Lewis last August when he visited MSU.  At that time, he was talking about his graphic novel called “March: Book One” which documents the Selma episode.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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