He was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington in 1963. But his youth did nothing to diminish his radical and forward vision.
At 23 years of age, John Lewis prepared an intense speech criticizing the Kennedy administration’s civil rights bill. In the initial version, he called the bill “too little too late” and posed the question, “I want to know, which side is the federal government on?”
Leaked to the press the night before, the leaders of the movement called for a more conservative revision. Even edited, the powerful speech laid an unassailable foundation for his storied career.
– Margot Calmar, The 100 Companies