A hero for the 21st century © Ilene Perlman/Alamy
Towering above Atlanta"s Sweet Auburn district is this 65-foot-high mural of John Lewis, the civil rights icon. What better way to celebrate Black History Month than to honor Lewis, a son of sharecroppers who carried the struggles of the civil rights movement from the Jim Crow South to the halls of Congress? An Alabama native, Lewis moved to Atlanta in 1963. He was already famous and would become even more so for leading marches, protests, and sit-ins throughout the South. Beaten by police, the KKK, and angry mobs, Lewis never wavered from his belief in nonviolent protest. He famously fought with his voice and peaceful actions, never his fists.