BET to pay tribute to John Lewis with special ‘In His Own Words’

    The special is a celebration of the late congressman's' life, legacy and impact on the Civil Rights Movement.

    (Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images for U.S. Postal Service)

    The late Rep. John Lewis began his fight for justice in George in the 1960’s, and BET is set to explore his momentous journey in an exclusive news special airing Sunday.

    Hosted by CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan, John Lewis: In His Own Words “will weave together compelling footage of the former Congressman’s life and his own inspiring words to present a powerful reflection of his tireless dedication to the non-violent fight for racial equality and justice,” per press release. 

    From the freedom rides to the 1963 March on Washington, surviving Bloody Sunday to the Black Lives Matter Movement, the special is a celebration of Lewis’ life, legacy and impact on the Civil Rights Movement. It also features  the last interviews he conducted before his death.

    Read More: Why the Edmund Pettus Bridge should be named after John Lewis

    “Lewis was a tireless activist for civil rights for over six decades, joining Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his fight for voting rights for African Americans when he was in his 20s. Now more than ever, we owe Representative Lewis an enormous debt of gratitude for all that he’s done in his historic career,” said Scott Mills, President of BET Networks.

    “He was a fearless leader and a legend in the movement for civil rights. His contributions allow us to stand on the shoulders of giants as we continue the fight for social justice today. We will honor his legacy by making ‘good trouble’ of our very own,” Mills added.

    Lewis, who served in Congress for more than three decades, died last Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His funeral will be held July 30 at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

    Read More: Robert E. Lee high school renamed after late civil rights icon John Lewis

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that Lewis will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. 

    An invitation-only ceremony will be held on Monday (July 27) at 1:30 p.m. The public can pay their respects on the front steps of the Capitol from 6 pm to 10 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. , per CBS News. Social distancing will be enforced and masks are required.

    Meanwhile, theGRIO previously reported, Robert E. Lee High School in Fairfax, VA, the eleventh largest school district in the nation, is being renamed John R. Lewis High School, in honor of the beloved activist.

    The new name goes into effect for the 2020-21 school year, USA Today reports. 

    John Lewis: In His Own Words airs Sunday, July 26 at 7:30 PM ET/PT on BET and BET HER. 

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