U.S. Rep. John Lewis coming to Arkansas Literary Festival

Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the Civil Rights Movement, will be a presenter at this year’s Arkansas Literary Festival.

Congressman John LewisThe free event will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, one of the co-sponsors.

The UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity is pleased to help support the event, especially since Lewis’s work in civil rights has influenced and benefitted countless numbers of Americans.

His new graphic novel memoir March: Book One, co-written by Andrew Aydin and drawn by North Little Rock native, Nate Powell, is a #1 New York Times bestseller.

His long career of leadership includes sit-ins, demonstrations, the 1963 March on Washington, and the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011.

More about Congressman John Lewis and Civil Rights
John Lewis was the youngest of the Big Six civil rights leaders during the American Civil Rights Movement. Lewis was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from 1963 to 1966. During his tenure, SNCC opened Freedom Schools, launched the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and organized the voter registration efforts that led to the pivotal Selma to Montgomery marches.

Lewis was one of the youngest and became the best known member of the Freedom Riders.

On July 10, 1961, five Freedom Riders from the St. Louis branch of the Congress of Racial Equality came on an interstate bus to Little Rock to test the U.S. Supreme Court’s Boynton v. Virginia (1960) decision that ordered the integration of bus terminals. The Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail and the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity were launched on the 50th anniversary of their visit in 2011. A commemorative plaque was also unveiled at the site of the old Trailways Bus Station (Louisiana and Markham), where the Freedom Riders arrived in 1961. Learn more at  arkansascivilrightsheritage.org.

More about the Arkansas Literary Festival
For eleven years, the Arkansas Literary Festival has brought prestigious award-winners, big names, writers for television shows, journalists, and artists to hold sessions for the public. The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library campus and many other Little Rock venues are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, opportunities to meet authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.

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