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WABE’s Week In Review: Remembering John Lewis And COVID-19 Takes Herman Cain

Scores of people mourned the loss of Rep. John Lewis  in ceremonies in Alabama, DC and Atlanta over the last week.
Scores of people mourned the loss of Rep. John Lewis in ceremonies in Alabama, DC and Atlanta over the last week.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

The ceremonies remembering the life and work of longtime Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis concluded in Atlanta this week. They began in Alabama last weekend, then headed to Washington, D.C.–where Lewis would become the first Black lawmaker to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. It would be the same at the state Capitol in Atlanta, where scores of people mourned his passing and came to celebrate his life. 

The Next Generation of Leaders… 

The loss of Lewis and fellow civil rights leader C.T. Vivian on the same July day highlighted the need for a new generation to step up, or in some cases, continue to step up. And that next generation of civil rights leaders will have benefited and learned from icons in the movement like Lewis and Vivian, according to former Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young–who himself is an icon in civil rights. 

Lewis and Voting Rights…

House Majority Whip James Clyburn of S.C., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press)

Not long after John Lewis led the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama–an event that became known as “Bloody Sunday” after state troopers beat protesters who were demonstrating for voting rights– President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Bill of 1965. In 2013, a key provision of that bill was changed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Essentially, before the Court’s ruling, discriminatory voting rules proposed by state governments could be blocked by the federal government before they were implemented and harmed voters.

Last month, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn proposed renaming a bill to restore that provision after Lewis. It overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Meantime democrats are pushing republican leadership in the U.S. Senate to vote on the bill to restore the key provision.

Herman Cain Passes Away…

Herman Cain
Herman Caid died on Thursday. (Molly Riley/Associated Press)

Herman Cain passed away this week from complications of COVID-19. He was 74. Cain was the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, a former candidate for president and in Atlanta, a former radio show host.

Cain had been ill and hospitalized for several weeks after contracting COVID-19. It is unclear where or when he was infected, but as an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, Cain did attend Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma rally in June. Less than two weeks later Cain, who had underlying conditions, announced he had contracted COVID-19.