Civil Rights

Congressman’s tweet about his release from prison in 1961 goes viral

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From Rep. Lewis’ Twitter.

A congressman who tweeted about his release from prison 53 years ago had an educational purpose in mind.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., posted his mugshot along with this tweet on Monday: “53 yrs ago today I was released from Parchman Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson for using ‘white’ restroom.”

The tweet quickly went viral, report the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog. Within 12 hours, it was retweeted more than 22,000 times.

Lewis was a Freedom Rider who challenged segregation and a leader of the civil rights movement that led to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He told the Journal-Constitution he sent the tweet to “educate and inform people who were not even born 53 years ago.”

See the tweet:

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