NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Saturday, a rally is planned to happen in downtown Nashville, to fight for a Civil Rights leader’s legacy.

This month, Tennessee Republicans proposed turning a road named in Rep. John Lewis’ honor, into President Donald Trump Boulevard. The proposed bill has caused many in Nashville to remember the reason why the street gained the name John Lewis Way in the first place.

“Gentle Spirit,” are the words Pastor Kelly Miller Smith Jr. used to describe John Lewis. “He had a strong determined will to fight what he believed was justice.”

Lewis’ words, or better yet his actions, outlived what could have been imagined. At the young age of 23, his presence captivated the nation.

“Young people when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation, a mission, and a mandate to stand up,” said Lewis as he spoke to a crowd.

His words resonated with people like Smith, whose father fought for justice alongside Lewis.

“There were times when our house was threatened to be bombed,” remembered Smith. “White boys would stick their dogs on my sisters as they walked to school. It was just part of that era.”

It was here in Nashville, where Lewis’ fight against social inequality flourished, as he staged sit-ins and marches in between classes.

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“The first time I got arrested in this city I felt free. I felt liberated, I felt like I had crossed over and I have not looked back since,” said Lewis to a crowd in Nashville.

In 2021, Lewis’ already lasting legacy was further cemented when John Lewis Way was hanged in the air.

“It’s a street that not only cuts in front of the Woolworth where he did the sit-ins, but it is also a street that cuts through the heart of Nashville. I think it’s important, that it passes right by the state capitol because it also should remind us the importance of providing opportunities for all persons,” explained Smith.

Now, Smith says Lewis’ legacy is under attack with the new proposed bill.

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On Saturday, Feb. 18, a Nashville high school student and daughter of a Metro Council member, has planned a rally to spark change in Lewis’ footsteps. The rally will take place outside the Historic Metro Courthouse, starting at 3 p.m.