PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — U.S. Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis paid a visit to the Cecil B. Moore branch of the Free Library Monday afternoon for a book signing, where he spent part of his visit sharing his experiences with a 13-year-old boy.
Congressman Lewis is the co-author of a graphic novel trilogy called “March,” the story of the civil rights movement and Lewis’ role in it, culminating with the passage of the voting rights act. “March: Book Three,” is a National Book Award finalist in Young People’s LiteratureREAD MORE: Takeout Under The Tents Offering New Way For Customers To Experience King Of Prussia Restaurant Week
Lewis says Donald Trump’s calls for supporters to act as vigilante poll watchers is aimed at suppressing the vote.
“It’s a form of intimidation, a form of harassment,” he said, “and we cannot have that.”
Lewis says claims of vote rigging have no basis in fact.
“We have a history of having free and open elections,” he said. “In this country, we believe in ‘one person, one vote.’ And that’s why it’s so important for everybody to come out and vote.”
The civil rights icon stopped to talk to 13-year-old Nocqui Howard, who was surprised to learn that Lewis was a teenager himself when he became an activist.
“How did you feel when you first met Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King?” Howard asked.READ MORE: Dianna Brice Murder: Tylydiah Garnett Arrested In Connection To Murder Of 21-Year-Old Dianna Brice, Police Say
“I was deeply inspired, and moved,” Lewis told the boy.
Ruth Birchett says it was telling that Lewis gravitated to the kids.
“That’s important, because our young people may not have lived through the hardships that he had lived through,” Birchett said, “but they benefit today from the path that he’s paved for us in fighting for justice and equal rights.”
For Nocqui, the proud owner of an autographed copy of ‘March,’ it was a trip to the library that he’ll never forget.
“Thank you again for the books,” he said, “and for sharing your experiences with me.”
“Well, thank you,” Lewis responded. “Stay in school, right? And learn as much as you can learn, and you can be what you want to be.”MORE NEWS: Didi Gregorius Powers Phillies To Narrow 7-6 Win Over Atlanta Braves