Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"March: Book Two" by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

In March: Book One, Congressman John Lewis shared details of his early life in the segregated South and the beginning of his involvement with the Civil Rights movement in a stunning graphic novel, designed to educate and inspire young readers.

The story now continues in March: Book Two which is once again written in collaboration with writer Andrew Aydin and award-winning artist Nate Powell.  Picking up where the first book left off, this book covers the sit-ins, freedom rides, and the landmark 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedoms.  As is the case with the first book, this story is told in retrospect as Barack Obama is being sworn in as President of the United States.

John Lewis is known one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights movement, and is the last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington.  As we come to a time where we begin to lose the people who shaped some of the most changing decades of our society, it is important that their stories are preserved.  And while many books have been written ensuring that these stories stay with us, putting them into a form that will educate and inspire the future generations of youth is so important.  That is why I am a huge supporter of graphic novels that teach history.  

The drawings in this book are fantastic.  They are dripping with emotion on each and every page and some pages are absolutely heartbreaking.  This book doesn’t hold back on the horrors that occurred but they are done in a manner that is hard-hitting and sensitive at the same time.  

I studied History in university and took quite a few courses on the Civil Rights Movement.  Never was a textbook able to convey to me the depths and emotion of the time the way March has.  I don’t know if our young generations can understand what people the same age as them faced - the brutality, beatings, imprisonment, and murder - and I truly believe that these books will speak to our kids in a way that has not happened before.


This book ends at the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama and there is one more book in the trilogy.  I wish I knew when the third book was being released, I just want to keep reading the story. 

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