If there were ever a reminder to give others their flowers while they’re living, it’s watching the late Rep. Elijah Cummings describe how he’d want his friend and colleague John Lewis to be remembered.
Both men were veterans of the civil rights movement, and both became respected legislators and fierce proponents of equality on Capitol Hill.
The two congressional leaders also died within a year of one another: Cummings, a longtime Maryland Democrat, died in October 2019. Lewis, who served Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for decades, passed away in July.
Yet before those immense losses, both men were able to participate in the CNN Films’ documentary, “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” which chronicles the life story of its titular icon.
In an extended interview from the film captured in January 2019, Cummings describes how he entered politics; the civil rights lesson he thinks we need to remember today; and how he hoped Lewis would be remembered.
Watching the conversation today, one can only imagine how many hold the same sentiment of remembrance for the Baltimore native.
“(Lewis) said, ‘You know, 100 years ago, none of us were on the Earth. One hundred years from now, none of us will be on this Earth,’ talking about the present generation,” Cummings added. “And if you look at life like that, you should ask yourself, what can I do for my fellow man in the time that I am on this Earth? Or woman. And I think that attitude is what will lead us to that more perfect union and more perfect world.”
In addition to Cummings, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” features several others who knew or worked with Lewis, including former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and the members of “The Squad,” Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
In extended interviews of their own, each politician reflects on both Lewis’ impact, as well as the state of American politics today:
Stacey Abrams on voter suppression
Hillary Clinton on what she looks for in a presidential candidate
‘The Squad’ on their experience in Congress so far
CNN Films’ “John Lewis: Good Trouble” airs Saturday, October 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.