Morgan Freeman read out the final words of civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis in an emotional speech Thursday.
Lewis lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 17 at age 80, and Freeman, as requested, read his last words: a powerful essay he wrote for the New York Times, “Together, You Can Redeem The Soul Of Our Nation.”
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell played the poignant reading, which was apparently sent to the newspaper by Lewis two days before his death, on “The Last Word”.
Lewis shared in the message, “While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society,” referencing the Black Lives Matter movement and those who have tragically lost their lives.
— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) July 31, 2020
He encouraged readers to continue getting into “good trouble,” to study and learn lessons from history and to harness the “most powerful nonviolent change agent” in a democratic society by voting, as it’s not guaranteed in the future.
“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring,” he continued.
Lewis was laid to rest Thursday after a memorial service in Atlanta.
Family and former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush delivered eulogies.
After Lewis died, Freeman posted on Twitter:
— Morgan Freeman (@morgan_freeman) July 18, 2020