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March: Book Two by John Lewis

March: Book Two

by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin (Author), Nate Powell (Illustrator)

Series: March (2)

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Second volume builds on the first covering the years from 1960 until the day of MLK's "I have a dream" speech in august 1963, when John Lewis stood up on the podium alongside the Reverend. All the while, the story continues to be framed by Obama's inauguration in 2009. It's uch a simple device, but it works. The historical stories remain devastating and angry-making while the dignity and fortitude of the freedom riders seem unfathomable but remain inspiring. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
Autobiographical black-and-white graphic novel about the Civil Rights Movement, told through the eyes of civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis. I've seen Lewis on the news, but I really didn't know what exactly was his part in the movement - I will now listen even more intently whenever I see him. Extremely interesting story at the same time as being an important historical document that should be read by everyone living in the US, as well as everyone else. ( )
  -Eva- | Feb 26, 2019 |
These events happened in my lifetime. The book, in graphic format, reminds us of the shocking and shameful events of the worst forms of government and social tyranny. There are events, sequences and positions which I had not known or remembered. Some of what happened seems to have been re-scripted to soften recollections and that too is shameful, signaling there is enormous work yet to be done a half century later. This is an important book which I hope reaches many so progress may continue and exponentially grow. ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
So. Very. Good. The whole trilogy is highly recommended.

This graphic novel series recounts civil rights leader and US Representative John Lewis' childhood and involvement in the civil rights movement, from restaurant sit-ins in Nashville all the way to Selma and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This moving personal and societal history is framed as memories coming to him on the day of President Obama's inauguration in January 2009.

The courage these people had, it takes my breath away. To know you could be jailed, beaten, or killed. To have your compatriots murdered worked with your cause and for your organization. To face government and police and county registrars actively, loudly, and proudly - and unlawfully - refusing to allow you to register to vote, to peacefully assemble; who would stop at nothing to prevent having to share power. In the face of that, to stand up again and again to march and protest, all for the right to vote. These folks are American heroes.

Using the graphic format - stark black and white - was powerful. The artist did an amazing job. An example: the bleak night-of-the-soul moments, where text was white against a mostly black page, the words dripping away into silence. Or the showing the movement of an arm holding a billy club arcing across the page - linear format fallen by the wayside - as it descended towards someone's head.

I was especially moved by stories around the passage of the Voting Rights Act in volume 3 and the quotes from President Johnson's speeches of the time. (This was also my reaction to the movie Selma; also highly recommended). The right to vote, the ability to vote, is the true cornerstone of democracy. African-Americans had that legal right in the US for 100 years at the time of the Civil Rights movement, but most did not have the ability, and systemic forces were bent on keeping that racist status quo for 100 years.

So far we've come and also so far back we've slid. The fierce fight for the right to vote - that people gave their lives for - that right has been chipped away at in so many states (and so many from the South!) that want to suppress some categories of voters, and by the Supreme Court as well. Those 100 years of Jim Crow and voter suppression live on in new waves of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. And, just like elections when people of color were prevented from registering to vote, elections today are putting people who historically had a lot of power into elected office and silencing the voice of true democracy.

This trilogy is a great way to learn about - or teach - this important part of American history, and the lessons it has for us today. ( )
  chavala | Dec 29, 2018 |
Painful, powerful, difficult, necessary read. ( )
  emeraldreverie | Nov 15, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Lewisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aydin, AndrewAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Powell, NateIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to the memory of John Siegenthaler

July 27th, 1927-July 11th, 2014
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Brother John--good to see you.
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"After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence -- but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before."--page 3 of cover.… (more)

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