Pettus name has a new meaning because of John Lewis

I want to thank Conrad Thompson for his recent letter about John Lewis, who led the civil rights march over Alabama’s Edmond Pettus Bridge, a march that gave birth to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Edmond Pettus was a typical southern land baron and a stain on the Pettus name that Lewis elevated to a name synonymous with the birth of equal rights for minorities. For this I am grateful that I can now bear the name Pettus with pride. That and my father’s campaign to release the Japanese Californians, many of them California born, from the concentration camp next to Salinas, Calif., for the sin of being of Japanese decent.

It’s nice to have a dad for a hero that is truly a benefactor. Thank you, Dad, for that glorious legacy.

Harold R. Pettus


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