March

March

Book One

Book - 2013
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Congressman John Lewis is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first American president. This is the first book in the Graphic novel trilogy.
Publisher: Marietta, Georgia :, Top Shelf,, 2013
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781603093002
Characteristics: 121 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: March Book 1

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l
lydia1879
Apr 22, 2018

What a start and what a finish to a spectacular graphic novel.

This graphic novel really helped to adjust my perspective on the civil rights movement in America.

People were killed, people were beaten, people were permanently disabled from beatings they received. They were arrested, jailed, outed as gay in front of thousands of people. Of course I know those things to be true. I would not dispute them.

But in this graphic novel, Lewis names them, calls them his friends, his brothers, his sisters and he speaks them into my memory.

The incredible thing about this graphic novel was it once again, like the first volume, made me adjust my activism.

Too often, some racist incident will come up on my Twitter feed, on TV, on the radio and I’ll say, “Oh my god, it’s 2018. This shouldn’t be happening.” I consider racism, homophobia, sexism and ableism to all be abhorrent and try my best to unlearn all of the aggressions and micro aggressions society has taught me to employ. So when someone (or an institution) wilfully engages in racism, homophobia, sexism and ableism I am shocked.

And no it shouldn’t be happening in 2018 and it is. Racist, homophobic, sexist, patriarchal things happen because of the systems upon which they were built.

I want to adjust my activism so that it no longer dismisses someone’s lived experience by saying things like: “Oh my god, it’s 2018. This shouldn’t be happening.” Because it did happen, and it hurts. Am I still shocked that two black men were arrested for waiting in a Starbucks just the other day? Of course, but based upon the institutions that built the world in the way we currently live, I won’t be surprised.

People change their minds, their hearts, their actions, but institutions do not, or they do so slowly, with watered down legislation that does not have to be enforced.

Of course, I’m making generalisations, but the frustration I feel after reading the second volume of March is real.

This graphic novel is an example of how people of colour have consistently physically put their bodies on the line in order to gain equal rights. March book 2 has a great and a terrifying physicality. Beatings, dogs, bodies bent in prayer, water hoses from the fire department used to stop children, March never looks away, never hesitates, but continues on despite all adversity, much like Lewis himself.

Of the ten speakers at the Washington March in 1963, John Lewis is the only one still alive.

And what a beacon of justice he is for us all.

g
GKL10101
Mar 25, 2018

I figured John Lewis's choice to tell this story in a graphic novel format was just a clever gimmick—appeal to "kids these days" by chasing a trend. Having read it, the format makes perfect sense: The fight for civil rights, or any positive social change, is a long, difficult, and epic journey, and this is the origin story for one of its superheroes. It's fantastic.

s
skdawson
Mar 08, 2018

A fantastic start to an amazing graphic novel series detailing the first-hand account of Representative John Lewis' life and his role in the Civil Rights Movement.

l
lydia1879
Mar 03, 2018

This was such an emotional, thrilling read.

I thought it was a little slow to start, but it feels like a great primer to the Civil Rights Movement, with Lewis name-dropping important figures left and right. It also feels like an interesting teaching tool for middle school students.

I enjoyed the artwork -- I thought Powell's artwork was interesting and his choice of lettering really added to the mood of the overall book. I love that graphic novel artists can add details and convey without having to interrupt the flow of the story-telling.

I love Lewis' story and desperately want to read more and learn more about his life. Lewis had me question my own involvement with activism in general, and how much active participation I have in activism. How many petitions do I sign? How many sit-ins do I attend? How many times a day do I use my white privilege to better the lives of others?

I think, as a white woman, it's super important for me to always ask these questions and constantly be trying to improve, do better, be more compassionate and take more initiative.

There is light where there is darkness, and there is love where there is hatred. That love has a name, and that name is John Lewis.

AL_LESLEY Feb 08, 2018

Amazing and harrowing and inspiring. John Lewis is an admirable man and I'm glad he is around to continue his good work.

g
GeeksInTheLibrary
Oct 17, 2017

A powerful memoir by Congressman Lewis about his experiences as a young man in the midst of the civil rights movement. Good for history buffs and budding activists.

rtalps Oct 10, 2017

A must-read. Lewis' life story is amazing and inspiring. A great perspective on Civil Rights-era America.

k
kwsmith
Aug 27, 2017

American politician John Lewis narrates the fascinating story about his life and the role that he played, along with Martin Luther King, in establishing the early American civil rights movement.

AL_LESLEY Aug 06, 2017

An important graphic novel to support and inspire the next generation of activists. Personal and beautiful.

s
shayshortt
Jun 20, 2017

March continues to move back and forth between Lewis’ life story, and Barack Obama’s inauguration. The first volume used a slightly stilted frame narrative of Lewis recounting his childhood to two boys who visit his office with their mother, who wants to teach them about the history of the civil rights movement. The second volume is purely Lewis reflecting alone on his experiences as the inauguration progresses, which works more smoothly, and also creates some interesting juxtapositions. Lewis’ election as chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee is placed alongside Obama taking the oath of office. The scenes depicting famous speeches given at the March on Washington are followed by the opening words of President Obama’s inaugural address. Aretha Franklin sings “My Country Tis of Thee” in 2009 as Freedom Riders are beaten in the streets of Alabama in 1963. This creates an effect that conveys the breadth of history, even as the closing on the church bombing creates a sobering, cautionary finish. There is always a backlash.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2017/05/30/march-book-two/

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s
shayshortt
Jun 20, 2017

March: Book Two opens on Inauguration Day 2009, and then transitions back to Nashville in November 1960. After successfully integrating the city’s department store lunch counters, Lewis and the Nashville Student Movement continued in the same vein by trying to integrate cafeterias and fast food restaurants. They also turned their attention to segregated movie theatres. However, the heart of the second volume focuses on the Freedom Riders and the March on Washington, as Lewis rises to national prominence within the civil rights movement. Despite covering several climactic events, tension remains high, as the volume closes with the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.

s
shayshortt
May 28, 2017

March opens on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, as the march from Selma is about to be confronted by troopers armed for a riot, then flashes forward to Inauguration Day 2009, when Barack Obama is about to be sworn in as the first African American president of the United States. The frame narrative takes place in Congressman Lewis’ Washington D.C. office when a black woman from Atlanta arrives with her two sons to see the office of their representative. The congressman begins to tell the boys about his early life, and the beginnings of the civil rights movement, and continues through the desegregation of Nashville’s lunch counters in 1960.

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mvkramer Apr 21, 2016

Violence: Racists beat, harass, and try to kill African-American activists.

mvkramer Apr 21, 2016

Coarse Language: The "N" word - understandably.

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s
shayshortt
Jun 20, 2017

The fare was paid in blood, but the Freedom Rides stirred the national consciousness, and awoke the hearts and minds of a generation.

s
shayshortt
May 28, 2017

The thing is, when I was young, there wasn’t much of a civil rights movement. I wanted to work at something, but growing up in rural Alabama, my parents knew it could be dangerous to make any waves.

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