Congressman’s civil rights-era mugshot goes viral on Twitter
By: Catalina Camia
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., left, greets President Obama at a civil rights summit held at the LBJ Presidential Library. (Carolyn Kaster, AP)
Today is not Throwback Thursday, but an old photo of Rep. John Lewis that has gone viral on Twitter is serving as a powerful reminder of the civil rights movement.
The Georgia Democrat tweeted his mugshot from the summer of 1961 when he was arrested as a Freedom Rider in Jackson, Miss., for using a whites-only restroom. Monday marks the 53rd anniversary of Lewis’ release after 37 days of imprisonment from what he called the Parchman Penitentiary. Mississippi’s state pentitentiary, known also as Parchman Farm, was notorious in the 1960s for trying to break the spirit of the Freedom Riders — the activists who rode buses throughout the South to challenge segregation.
More than 21,000 people retweeted Lewis’ post and 13,000 labeled it a “favorite.”
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