"The past week has mad me feel like I'm living my life all over again — that we have to fight some of the same fights," Lewis said. "To see some of the bigotry, the hate, I think there are forces that want to take us back."
When he later accepted his medal for young people's literature, for his work with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell on March: Book Three, Lewis drew from memories of his own childhood for a tearful speech.
"I remember in 1956 when I was 16 years old, going down to the public library, trying to get library cards, and we were told that the libraries were whites-only and not for coloreds," Lewis said.
I recommend listening to the piece so you can hear the emotion with which Lewis gives his speech.