February 4, 2021
In celebration of the life and legacy of the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis (1940–2020)—the last living member of the “Big Six” Civil Rights leaders who organized the historic March on Washington in 1963—we suggest March, written by Lewis himself and Andrew Aydin, his former aide and political advisor, with illustrations by Nate Powell.
This award-winning set of graphic novels explores the Civil Rights Movement in powerful prose and stunning illustrations. In addition to numerous other literary awards, it also has the distinct honor of being the first graphic novel to win the National Book Award.
Starting with Lewis’ formative years growing up in Alabama, then moving through his first meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, and Bloody Sunday, March details one incredibly historic event after another, seen through the eyes of a man whose life was dedicated to the use of nonviolent protest as an instrument of change.
While the series does not shy away from the brutality of the times, the authors do break up the horror of the past with moments of hope and inspiration from Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Like a fine piece of music, there is a sense of tension throughout the March series that builds and builds until it reaches a powerful crescendo, but even as it resolves, the reader is left with the uneasy certainty that the work begun in the ’60’s Civil Rights Movement is nowhere near complete.
Evin H., MCPL Youth Services Department
Mariah H., MCPL Information and Reader Services Department