At 23 years old John Lewis was the youngest member of the Big Six; which was comprised of the leaders of the six most prominent civil rights organizations. These leaders included Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, A. Phillip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Andrew Young and Lewis; who Dr. King referred to as “That young man from Troy”.
Lewis served as the Chairman of the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963- 1966 and was given the opportunity to speak at the historic March On Washington. He was the youngest speaker that day, and, at the time of his death, he was the last remaining living speaker.
Rep John Lewis’ Speech at the 1963 March on Washington