John Lewis Discusses Modern-Day Relevance of Freedom Rides in New Short Doc

By Sameer Rao May 04, 2016

Today (May 4) marks 55 years since the first busload of Freedom Riders left Washington, D.C. to nonviolently resist and dismantle segregation in the South. One of those riders, Georgia congressman John Lewis, discusses the historic protests and their relevance to today in a new short documentary.

"I am very hopeful, very optimistic with the future of this movement," Lewis said about today’s racial justice activism in "Wade in the Water: Movement Talk with John Lewis." Directed by Blackout for Human Rights member Terrance Pitts, the five-minute film links Lewis’ Freedom Rides stories with his impression of present-day struggles—something Pitts says is necessary to combat perception of generational divisions.

"Some people today talk about a generational rift between the old guard Civil Rights Movement leaders and the new guard of activists in the Black Lives Matter movement," Pitts said in an e-mail to Colorlines. "As Congressman John Lewis explains, that’s a false dichotomy and one we should probably stay away from. Lewis admires and praises today’s activists. He recognizes their heroism, courage and willingness to challenge injustice."

Check out "Wade in the Water" above.