I first met Congressman Bro. John Lewis in the Fall of 2005 at R.O. Sutton’s Gala in Atlanta, GA. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t really know who he was. “He marched with Dr. King” I was told by Brothers in attendance. It was my first trip to the South attending a Sigma event so I was really just trying to be the fly in the wall and take it all in. I recalled Bro. Lewis didn’t stay long. He said a few words to Bro. Sutton then walked right down the middle of the room. On his way out, I seized the brief moment to introduce myself and shake his hand, but no time for pictures.
Fast forward almost a decade and I find out Bro. Lewis is speaking at San Francisco State University. The College of Ethnic Studies hosted the event “Meet the Authors: Congressman John Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin” to discuss the graphic novels they co-authored March: Book One and March: Book Two. One of the benefits of being fun-employed is the luxury of spontaneous scheduling so off I went to meet up with Bro. Pat McFall (Alpha Nu Sigma chapter by way of Kappa Alpha), who works at SFSU.
By now you can be sure that I’d learned who Bro. John Lewis is. I made sure to point he and Bro. Hosea Williams to my daughters while watching Selma.
Bro. Pat acquires us seats in the VIP section, 3rd row. Much better than the 3rd to the last row in general seating we had previously. We were initially disappointed we were the only Sigmas in attendance, but before long, others from Omicron Zeta (the chapter at SFSU) and Alpha Nu Sigma arrived. This was the first time I’d heard him speak. I mean really speak and I wasn’t disappointed. And yes Pat and I gave him a loud “Blue Phi!” at the end and he threw up the funk.
We worked our way to the stage to say hi as organizers were trying to keep people off. I reintroduced myself again noting we’d met before. Bro. Lewis nodded in agreement. “Oh yeah”, he said. He was so gracious. How could he remember me. I coerced the OZ neos to jump on stage and snapped this pic for them. Later during the book signing, Bro. Pat and I got some more time with Bro. Lewis. “Has the fraternity been good to you?” he asked me. I didn’t really give my response much thought, but thinking back, it’s an interesting question. How might you have answered it?