Georgia leaders and delegates spent the third day of the Democratic National Convention rallied around one of their own — acclaimed civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).
Lewis addressed his home state delegation Wednesday morning and expressed excitement about Hillary Clinton’s official nomination for president. However, he noted the hard work of getting Clinton elected in November is far from over.
“We’re going to go back to Georgia, organize, get people to vote like they’ve never voted before and make Georgia blue,” Lewis said.
Lewis shared the story of his life and involvement in the civil rights movement in a series of graphic novels titled, “March.”
Andrew Aydin, digital director and policy advisor to Lewis, then took the floor to tell the story of how his collaboration with the congressman came to be. The Georgia native said he was initially unsure if the Lewis would agree to be part of the project.
Aydin recalled a moment at the end of Lewis’ 2008 reelection campaign when the staff began to talk about what they were going to do after the election.
“Some folks were going to the beach; some were going to see their parents. I said I was going to a comic book convention,” Aydin said. “Which you can understand, everyone in professional politics laughed at me except for one person.
“From the back of the room, I heard a deep voice and he said ‘don’t laugh.’ And it was John Lewis standing up for me like he has stood up for so many of us.”
Aydin said he was a lifelong comic fan and believed a graphic novel about Lewis would be a way to educate young people about the civil rights movement.
Lewis said ‘maybe’ when he was initially pitched the idea of the novel, but Aydin said he believed in the idea so strongly he was persistent. The congressman finally agreed but only if they would write it together.
“That moment changed my life,” Aydin said.
It took five years from the first time they talked about the novel to when it debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.
Congressman Lewis closed his address by challenging the Georgia delegation to embody the ideologies of the civil rights movement in order to solve issues in a non-violent way.
“As delegates, be brave, be courageous, be bold,” said Lewis. “If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, do something about it.”\