It was a full house as people packed into the Martin Luther King Junior Academic Magnet School just to listen to the words of an American icon in the Civil Rights movement .
United States Representative John Lewis was honored with the Nashville Public Library Literary Award. It's an award that has recognized distinguished authors and other people for their contributions to the world of books and reading.
"I didn't like segregation. I didn't like racial discrimination. I didn't like riding the broken down buses to school," said U.S. Representative John Lewis, D-Georgia.
And that's when Congressman Lewis decided to stand up by sitting down.
"The action of Rosa Parks, the words and leadership of Dr. King, inspired me to find a way to get in the way. I got in trouble, but I caused good trouble, necessary trouble," said Rep. Lewis.
During the Civil Rights movement, young people rose up to fight against injustice, and Congressman Lewis has been urging young Americans to do the same today.
"It's gratifying to see young people, especially, standing up, speaking up, and speaking out to vent their feelings, frustration, and disappointments," said Rep. Lewis.
Protests erupted throughout the country after Donald Trump became President-elect, and Congressman Lewis said he believes that it's peaceful protests that will unite our county.
"I got arrested here in Nashville, yes. I got arrested in Alabama and Georgia, a few other places," said Rep. Lewis.
But the Congressman never thought that he would ever see mug shots taken by Metro Police from 1961, 1962, and 1963 during the Civil Rights movement.
"I was surprised and almost cried, but I held back tears because I was so young," said Rep. Lewis.
The work isn't done just yet, but we've come a long way from where we used to be.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. would be very proud of this audience. You look like the making of the beloved community,' said Rep. Lewis.