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Lewis statue coming to S.C. State

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A statue of the late civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman John Lewis will be on display at South Carolina State University for one week as part of a traveling exhibition en route to Washington, D.C.

The statue will be unveiled Friday, Feb. 4, in a 2 p.m. ceremony adjacent to the Orangeburg Massacre Monument on Geathers Street.

State Rep. Jerry Govan Jr., D-Orangeburg, and S.C. State Interim President Alexander Conyers will be among those making remarks.

The statue will remain in place until Friday, Feb. 11.

After the unveiling, the public also is invited to view the statue during regular campus business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lewis died at age 80 in July 2020 amid his 17th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

His official biography on the House’s History, Art & Archives website states that Lewis dedicated his life to advancing the cause of freedom and equality in America.

As a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, he challenged Jim Crow segregation and oppression across the South through nonviolent protest.

Lewis often put his own physical safety on the line and his bold, peaceful stands against discrimination were often met with violence. In 1965, Alabama state troopers in the town of Selma attacked Lewis and other demonstrators with clubs and tear gas during a march for voting rights.

Two decades later, in 1986, Lewis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from an Atlanta district.

-- This story has been changed.

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