Congressman John Lewis: “Stand Up and Make Some Noise”

SNCC 50th Anniversary Conference

Volume 28 – Luncheon Keynote: Congressman John Lewis, “Stand Up and Make Some Noise”

FEATURED SPEAKER: Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis, Chair of SNCC from 1963 to 1966, has been a member of Congress for 24 years. Jailed 40 times and badly beaten several times during civil rights protests, his congressional colleagues refer to him as “the Legend.” As a student at American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee in 1960, Lewis became deeply involved with the sit-in movement. “We did what young people do so well,” says Lewis. “We got in the way,” he tells a luncheon audience. His address is filled with reminiscence, acknowledging old friends in SNCC and invoking the Movement martyrs. His years in Congress and the election of Barack Obama, says Lewis, does not negate the need to continue the struggle. “You’re not too old to fight, to push. It’s in your blood, in your DNA. Stand up and make some noise.”