*Oprah Winfrey will honor Rep. John Lewis with a primetime CBS special set to air on Tuesday (Aug. 4).
Winfrey will host the event, dubbed “John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero,” with Tyler Perry, Gayle King and Brad Pitt.
The special will air on CBS at 10 p.m. ET on Aug. 4, and across several ViacomCBS brands — including OWN, BET, MTV and Smithsonian, Variety reports.
“John Lewis was an extraordinary man,” Winfrey said in a statement. “A man of great vision who lived a life with the purpose of making sure America lived out its ideals.”
“This is a celebration of the ‘boy from Troy,’” Perry added. “A forefather of the civil rights movement, who would live to see his contributions for equality result in witnessing the swearing in of the first Black United States president.”
The special will feature interviews and conversations about the late congressman’s life and legacy, as well as musical performances by Yolanda Adams, Jon Batiste, Common, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Trevor Noah, Billy Porter and Wynonna.
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Congressman John Lewis left us with marching orders: “The vote is the most powerful non-violent tool we have.” Use it y’all! Follow @OwnVote for more information ? #OWNYourVote pic.twitter.com/HHlatRDKiu
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) July 31, 2020
“Congressman Lewis was one of the most prominent and forceful voices for change in this country. Losing that voice now is so difficult as the country confronts structural racism. But John Lewis gave us the will and the way to continue his work,” said Susan Zirinsky, president and senior executive producer of CBS News, in a statement. “This special reminds us the journey will not be easy, and there’s no turning back.”
The longtime Georgia lawmaker died July 17 from pancreatic cancer at age 80.
Former president Barack Obama delivered the eulogy for Lewis last week, noting that the civil rights icon “was a good and kind and gentle man and he believed in us, even when we didn’t believe in ourselves,” he said.
“America was built by John Lewises,” Obama continued. “He, as much as anyone in our history, brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals. And someday when we do finish that long journey towards freedom, when we do form a more perfect union, whether it’s years from now or decades, or even if it takes another two centuries, John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America.”
Former President Barack Obama on John Lewis and Bernard Lafayette boarding a segregated bus: “Imagine the courage of two people Malia’s age, younger than my oldest daughter, on their own to challenge an entire infrastructure of oppression.” https://t.co/u1nsPN51AP pic.twitter.com/Ee5ESZ5u5j
— ABC News (@ABC) July 30, 2020