An Atlanta law firm, Harris Lowry Manton LLP, has donated money and commissioned a portrait to honor the late U.S. congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis. 

The personal injury firm unveiled the portrait, which hangs in its Brookhaven office at 1418 Dresden Drive, on April 2 in a special ceremony, according to a press release. During the ceremony, firm partners donated $5,000 to the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation, a nonprofit that carries on the legacy of Lewis through promotion of “nonviolence, voting rights, civic engagement, social justice, democracy, international peace, human rights and civil liberties,” according to its website. 

“We are deeply grateful to the attorneys and staff at Harris Lowry Manton for their generous donation and support of our mission,” said Mignon Morman Willis, treasurer for the foundation, in the press release. 

Harris Lowry Manton LLP partners in front of the portrait of John Lewis
Harris Lowry Manton LLP founding partners Jeff Harris (left), Steve Lowry (second from left) and Jed Manton (right) welcomed Mignon and Bill Willis from the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation to help unveil a commissioned portrait of John Lewis at the firm’s Brookhaven office.

Lewis, who served as the U.S. representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District — which includes parts of Brookhaven and Buckhead — died on July 17, 2020. Lewis was a revered leader of the Civil Rights movement who co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and spoke during the March on Washington in 1963. He participated in countless demonstrations and protests throughout his life, including “Bloody Sunday” in 1965 when police attacked him and other protesters as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. 

The firm commissioned Atlanta-based artist Patrick Lewis for the portrait. According to the press release, the artist — who is not related to John Lewis — is known for his paintings of historic figures.

In the portrait, Congressman Lewis is painted against the Atlanta skyline using what the firm calls “unstructured, dramatic brushstrokes.” The portrait features a famous quote from Lewis in the bottom left corner: “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

“There is no greater role model for initiating positive change and leveraging the power of the U.S. Constitution, the legal process and American democracy than Congressman John Lewis,” said Jeff Harris, the firm’s founding partner, in the press release. “His impact on the Civil Rights Movement and groundbreaking legislative work continues to guide the pursuit of justice for our clients and our community.”

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.