2020 has taken so many from us and sadly, Rep. John Lewis is one of the most recent additions to that list. Some may know the congressman as a politician who used his platform to advocate for the voiceless. Others may recognize him as a frequent collaborator in the fight for civil rights alongside activists like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin and Dorothy Height. Regardless, long before Lewis ascended the ladder of political royalty, he was like many young organizers in our community — in the trenches fighting for his people. 

The current protests that we’ve witnessed, sparked by decades of racial inequality, are not new. Yes, the demonstrations might be for newer atrocities, but many injustices from Lewis’ younger days haven’t changed. Blavity was able to obtain a few digital images of Lewis, some rarely seen, from the Getty Images archive. According to Bob Ahern, director of archive photography at Getty Images, the criteria for selecting which photographs should be digitized and archived pertaining to the civil rights movement depends on customer trends and what their audience wants to see.

Though the images of Lewis date back decades, the parallels between then and now are all too familiar.