Sarah's Reviews > Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement

Walking with the Wind by John Robert Lewis
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Feb 10, 08

bookshelves: dad-recommended

Want to know more about the Civil Rights movement? Want to hear about
it from a perspective other than Martin Luther King Jr.s? This is the
book! Reading this book I realized how little I really know about the
Civil Rights movement. I don't remember huge discussions about this
life changing and country changing movement in school. That should change!

John Lewis is a contemporary of MLK. He is the son of sharecroppers
and part of a very large family all of whom worked in the fields
starting at 5 or 6 years old. He had a deep love of God and a desire
to share his faith to the point where when put in charge of taking
care of the chickens, he spent hours preaching to them and conducting
funerals for those who had died.

This conviction carried him through into school and eventually college
- a much different path than his family had planned for him. John
carries his faith convictions through the entire memoir - making it
more than a book of facts about each event and more of a personal
story of his faith and how it guided him in decisions and
steadfastness to nonviolent demonstration for significant change in
this country. He was key in organizing and participating in some of
the first major demonstrations (sit-ins and picket lines) and then in
the major walks and protests that took place around the south.

Despite the horrific events that he lived through I found the book to
be really positive - he always comes back to his belief that in spite
of the horrible things happening he believes that love expressed in
nonviolence will change the course of the country and individuals in a
positive way.

I just really was amazed and moved by John's continued hope for race
relations and his love for individuals even when they were beating him
over the head with a bat - it was amazing.

"Love is the central motif of nonviolence. Love is the force by which
God binds man to Himself and man to man. Such love goes to the
extreme; it remains loving and forgiving even in the midst of
hostility. It matches the capacity of evil to inflict suffering with
an even more enduring capacity to absorb evil, all the while
persisting in love."
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