As we at Potomac Presbyterian Church work to live out our motto of “Caring for ALL with Faith, Hope, and Love,” many of us have felt called to learn more about the centuries-long struggles of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Americans. To help our community build out a basic understanding of some of these issues, the Justice and Racial Healing Task Force put together a resource page on our website with answers to some basic questions about the Black Lives Matter movement and a list of movies, articles, videos, and books related to issues of social justice.
One of the movies listed on the resource page is John Lewis: Good Trouble, a documentary released this summer shortly before the passing of civil rights icon Representative John Lewis. The film is named after a quote from Lewis, in which he stated, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” Lewis embodied this call to action, as he was arrested 40 times between 1960 and 1966 in support of the Civil Rights Movement and another five times as a sitting member of Congress, always for good, necessary reasons.
Dawn Porter filmed Good Trouble over the course of a year with the twin goals of familiarizing viewers with Rep. Lewis’s fearless work and showing some of his easygoing relatability. Among a long list of accomplishments that earned him international recognition, Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders in 1961, became the Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and spoke at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, and led the “Bloody Sunday” march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Through pain and hardship, Lewis centered his life’s work around an unshakeable belief in God and in the power of love and nonviolence.
Porter drew six main lessons from Rep. Lewis while filming Good Trouble:
- Always do what you can, no matter how small.
- Be prepared to be persistent.
- Find your joy, and hold onto it for balance.
- Embrace your beginnings.
- Don’t let your circumstances limit your imagination.
- Be relentlessly optimistic.