Ava Duvernay has added her tribute to beloved U.S. politician and civil rights icon John Lewis, following his death on Friday (July 17, 2020).
The congressman lost his battle with cancer, aged 80, and now moviemaker DuVernay is among the politicians and presidents paying their respects.
Posting photos of herself with Lewis on Twitter, the director of 2014 movie Selma, which featured actor Stephan James playing the late activist, wrote:
You are loved.
You are respected.
You are magnificent.
Lifting you up in prayer, peace and the power of your ancestors this day.
May God continue to bless you in all the ways you’ve blessed us, sir.#GoodTrouble pic.twitter.com/vF0S9JN3pD
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) December 30, 2019
Thank you for your care and kindness, your advice and understanding. Will never forget what you taught me and what you challenged me to be. Better. Stronger. Bolder. Braver. God bless you, Ancestor John Robert Lewis of Troy, Alabama. Run into His arms. https://t.co/DTUEw7cJzX
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 18, 2020
Actress Viola Davis has also joined those paying tribute to Lewis, tweeting:
Rest in Heavenly peace Mr. John Lewis. Thank you for your service, for your committment to change and your courage. You did great with your time on this earth. “Goodnight sweet Prince. May flights of angels sing the to thy rest.” And…pour some blessings on us down here 🙏🏿❤️ pic.twitter.com/9ZBSnLYmMa
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 18, 2020
Other tributes have come from former U.S. leader Barack Obama and politicians Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams, artists Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosanne Cash, Paul McCartney, Herbie Hancock, and Ice Cube, and Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s youngest daughter Bernice King.
Ex-President Bill Clinton has released a statement, which reads: “John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America’s unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together. In so doing he became the conscience of the nation.
“(Wife) Hillary and I were blessed by his friendship, support and wise counsel. We’ll miss him so much, but we’ll always be grateful that he lived to see a new generation of Americans take to the streets in search of his long sought ‘beloved community’.”
Lewis was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a key figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He was one of the ‘Big Six’ civil rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King, Jr., and helped organize the historic 1963 March on Washington.
As a congressman, he was a Democrat, who represented a district covering most of Atlanta, Georgia for 33 years.
In a statement released on Saturday, former President Barack Obama said he had spoken with Lewis after a virtual town hall with a group of activists following the death of George Floyd in May.
Obama noted Lewis could not have been prouder of their efforts, writing: “Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders – to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.”