WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) listens during a news conference September 25, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Reps Lewis was joined by Demetrius Nash, who took a walk from Chicago to Washington, to discuss gun violence. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an op-ed written by the late Representative John Lewis; per his instructions, they published it on the day of his funeral. The op-ed, titled, “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation,” was written shortly before Lewis’ passing.

Lewis clearly knew that this would be one of his last messages to the public. “While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society,” he wrote.

He encouraged people to continue getting into “good trouble: — i.e. protesting against injustice, no matter what the consequences. Good Trouble is also the title of a documentary about Rep. Lewis, which was released just a few weeks before his death. He also urged readers to use the “most powerful nonviolent change agent” in a Democratic society ― the vote.

“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.”

Last night on MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, the host wanted the entire piece read on the air for his audience. Instead of doing it himself, he had actor (and friend of Lewis’) Morgan Freeman read the entire piece. You can watch the segment below. And learn more about how you can see John Lewis: Good Trouble here.


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