How John Lewis met Tybre Faw, boy who read poem 'Invictus' at his funeral

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Thursday, July 30, 2020
Tybre Faw reads poem at John Lewis' funeral
Tybre Faw reads "Invictus," one of the late Rep. John Lewis' favorite poems, at a funeral service honoring the late congressman on July 30.

ATLANTA -- At the Thursday funeral of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, a 12-year-old boy took the stage and read one of the late lawmaker's favorite poems.

That boy is Tybre Faw, who became friends with Lewis when they met in 2018 at a Selma march commemorating the 53rd anniversary of "Bloody Sunday."

Tybre and his family had traveled 400 miles from John City, Tennessee, to see Lewis in the city where he was beaten by Alabama state troopers in 1965, an incident that propelled the civil rights movement into the national spotlight.

The young boy held a sign that read, "Thank you, Rep. John Lewis. You have shown me how to have courage."

St. John's in Washington, D.C., leads 500 churches in ringing their bells to pay tribute to civil rights icon John Lewis.

Lewis noticed the sign and talked to Tybre, who became emotional while shaking hands with his hero.

They became friends and reconnected afterward, seeing each other at two subsequent marches.

During the funeral at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, Tybre read William Ernest Henley's poem "Invictus." Lewis' sister Ethel Mae Tyner once told reporters she remembered Lewis reciting the poem around the house, according to the Washington Post.

"John Lewis was my hero and my friend. Let's honor him by getting in good trouble," Tybre said at the funeral.