On Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service shared that it would commemorate the life of the late Rep. John Lewis with a new stamp. They plan on releasing it next year.
Lewis, who was a vital figure in the civil rights movement, passed away in July 2020 at the age of 80. The cause of his death was pancreatic cancer. The U.S. Postal Service explained the choice for the stamp on its website:
“This stamp celebrates the life and legacy of civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020) of Georgia. Devoted to equality and justice for all Americans, Lewis spent more than 30 years in Congress steadfastly defending and building on key civil rights gains that he had helped achieve in the 1960s. Even in the face of hatred and violence, as well as some 45 arrests, Lewis remained resolute in his commitment to what he liked to call ‘good trouble.’ The stamp features a photograph of Lewis taken by Marco Grob on assignment for the Aug. 26, 2013, issue of Time magazine. The selvage showcases a photograph of Lewis taken by Steve Schapiro in 1963 outside a workshop about nonviolent protest in Clarksdale, MS. Derry Noyes served as art director for this project.”
In March 1965, Alabama state troopers infamously fractured Lewis’ skull when he was leading a march on voting rights over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The activist was instrumental in organizing sit-ins and also one of the original Freedom Riders who protested segregation at bus terminals.
In a 2015 speech, Lewis inspired audiences and famously coined the phrase “good trouble.” “I would ask my mother and my father and my grandparents, my great grandparents, ‘Why?’ And they would say: ‘That’s the way it is. Don’t get in the way. Don’t get in trouble,” he stated.
“The action of Rosa Parks and the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. inspired me to find a way to get in the way, to get in trouble — good trouble, necessary trouble.”