Before he became a respected Congressman, John Lewis was clubbed, gassed, arrested over 40 times, and nearly killed by angry mobs and state police, all while nonviolently protesting racial discrimination. He marched side-by-side with Martin Luther King as the youngest leader of the Civil Rights Movement that would change a nation forever.
Now, experience John Lewis' incredible story first-hand, brought to life in a stunning graphic novel trilogy. With co-writer Andrew Aydin and Eisner Award-winning artist Nate Powell, John Lewis' MARCH tells the story of how a poor sharecropper's son helped transform America, from a segregated schoolhouse to the 1963 March on Washington and beyond.
John Robert Lewis was the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, serving since 1987 and was the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. He was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end segregation. He was a member of the Democratic Party and was one of the most liberal legislators.
Barack Obama honoured Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and they marched hand in hand in Selma on the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday attack (March 7, 1965).
March is the story of John Lewis, a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement, and his role in the famous march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in March of 1965. After having the March trilogy on my TBR list for years, I’m happy I finally made the time for it. This graphic novel series is powerful and moving - It does not shy away from the hateful, hurtful language used, the brutality endured, and the tragedies that resulted in the fight for civil rights.
While this can be difficult to read about, it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten and John Lewis, along with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (illustrator), do a great job of bringing this part of history to life, showing what happened in the fight for freedom and equality in civil rights. The story is thorough and the illustrations are impactful - Showing what happened, unfortunately including more bad than good for the majority of this battle.
As I read this series, I couldn’t help but think of the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, a place well worth visiting if you ever find yourself in The A. I was able to go shortly after it opened in 2014. There is a lot to see and take in, particularly regarding the Civil Rights Movement. One thing that stood out that has continued to stay with me long after leaving the museum, is the slogan about Atlanta, deemed as “The City Too Busy To Hate” which despite living there, I didn’t know about until learning of it here at the CCHR. A fitting description for a great city. We as a nation have a long way to go and have suffered senseless setbacks in recent years, but it is nice to be reminded of the progress that was made by fearless leaders such as John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. Their dedication and tireless commitment is stunning, especially given the threats, dangers and cruelty they repeatedly experienced.
March: Read it. Remember it. Learn from it. A great reminder that young, relentless people can change things.
Sometimes, it takes a tragedy to open our eyes. The events in Selma, Alabama on “Bloody Sunday” in March of 1965 became such a moment, when, in a mass gathering of civil rights, demonstrators were violently attacked with billy clubs and tear gas as they attempted to march to the state capitol in Montgomery. News crews filmed the violence as state troopers beat the peaceful, unarmed protestors.
For millions of Americans who would see those images, there was no denying what had occurred. Or that it was wrong.
That shocking attack on the Edmund Pettus Bridge forced many of its viewers to grapple with the brutal realities of police responses to protesters. Political will to support the American Civil Rights movement grew in ways not previously seen in this country, and in the months that followed that attack the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would be signed into law. Today, as depicted in the opening scene of the graphic narrative March, “Bloody Sunday” serves as a harrowing reminder of our history but also as encouragement that despite its painful origins, large-scale civic activism can lead to large-scale change.
Co-written by Congressman John Lewis and his Digital Director/Policy Advisor, Andrew Aydin, and illustrated by Eisner Award-winning graphic novelist Nate Powell, March tells the powerful, unforgettable story of the major moments that made up the American Civil Rights Movement.
Spanning three volumes, which are available separately or as a single collection, March covers key years of civil rights leader Lewis’s life and the battles for justice he experienced firsthand. The writers skillfully frame the overarching narrative of all three books as Rep. Lewis reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement during President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration in 2009.
Presenting his upbringing in deeply segregated Alabama, Book One traces the forces that compelled and inspired Rep. Lewis to join the Movement. Through a juxtaposition of his life as a boy in rural Alabama with the realities he saw and felt during a childhood trip to Ohio, we see a young Lewis awaken to his standing as a second-class citizen. This storyline serves as a foundation for the impact that hearing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “social gospel” on the radio would have on him as a teenager. Inspired, a young Lewis participates in the fight for integrated colleges and equality at lunch counters; it is a fight that requires patience and self-restraint in the face of degradation and violence.
In Book Two, that violence escalates. As the Movement changes its sights to discrimination on buses and at bus terminals, the Freedom Rides begin. Testing the strength of a Supreme Court decision that banned such discrimination, Lewis and other activists ride buses throughout the South. One of March’s most haunting moments is in a depiction of the Freedom Riders fleeing from a fire-bombed bus as an angry mob armed with baseball bats, tire irons, and other makeshift weapons approaches. This visual captures the overwhelming panic, urgency, and threat of the moment. Here, as in much of Book Two, the Movement’s efforts are truly challenged. But their endurance and unending faith in a better tomorrow serve them well. Book Two also offers some of the most beautiful and uplifting moments of the trilogy, such as Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Seeing Dr. King’s speech come to life through Powell’s illustrations reinforces the passion, optimism, and love behind his words.
Book Three sees the narrative arc come full circle. The final act focuses on the march from Selma and the events that surround it. The Movement and the viciousness of its opposition hit a boiling point, forcing President Johnson to take actions to bring justice to millions who had been denied it.
While Rep. Lewis’s life is incredible, the events of March never feel self-aggrandizing. He and Aydin regularly credit the work and sacrifices of the Movement’s most famous leaders (such as Dr. King and Malcolm X) and cast a spotlight on many of the activists often less remembered by history, including women critical to the movement such as Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, and Annie Lee Cooper. The books provide a reminder that only when people work together can we begin to face our most overwhelming struggles.
In telling the stories, Powell’s beautiful black and white illustrations expertly utilize white and dark space to convey affect. In the most violent, atrocious, and tragic of moments, such as the shooting of 26-year old activist Jimmie Lee Jackson by an Alabama state trooper, the dark of the ink envelops the page, injecting the scene with a powerful, insidious tone. At other times, such as in the representation of President Obama’s inauguration, a true lightness takes form, and the joy of celebrating an event that almost certainly seemed impossible up until this point erupts off each page.
March is an emotional, often disturbing ride. At times, Rep. Lewis’s story will inspire profound sadness. Throughout these pages, we are reminded that so many lives were lost on the road to justice. Among those remembered are four young girls—Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley—murdered by a bomb while at their Birmingham church. At other times, such as when Governor George Wallace proclaims that “What this country needs is a few first class funerals,” March will make you fume with anger for the minds and actions of those fueled by deep hate and ignorance. But ultimately, March will make you feel hope. From integrated schools and lunch counters to the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, justice is real. Each step of that great march matters, however much there is still work to be done.
Rep. Lewis dedicates each book of the trilogy “To the past and future leaders of the movement…” While the overarching narrative of these books comes to a close with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the hope of March is that readers will recognize how the work of Dr. King and so many others didn’t end with them. Nor did it end with the inauguration of President Barack Obama. From the use of lethal police force to the effort of states to deny voting rights, systemic racism continues to plague this nation. Wherever, whenever, there is injustice, the march must continue.
The Civil Rights Movement is one of those Great Moments in History™ that seem inevitable and clear-cut now but at the time were anything but. These people and events have been subject to so much mythologizing in the last half-century that most Americans feel no need to dig any deeper; like so much of our history, we appropriate the most striking symbols in defense of our own causes, and assure ourselves that if we'd been there we'd have done the right thing, too.
But John Lewis really was there, from the lunch counter sit-ins to the March on Washington to the freedom rides to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. He was beaten and jailed and threatened and called too radical or not radical enough, and lived not only to tell the tale, but to watch the swearing-in of the first black president from his position as a senator for one of the very Deep South states he helped liberate. Lewis did the right thing more consistently and under more pressure than pretty much anyone I can think of, and there's no one alive today with a better claim to tell the story of this period of history.
Given these credentials, Lewis could easily have been forgiven for indulging in some self-mythologizing of his own; but he's a consummately humble and even-handed writer, too, and March is less a portrait of personal heroism than it is a composite story of the many, many human beings who risked—and often lost—life and liberty in the nonviolent pursuit of equal rights. Lewis refers to the segregated South as a war zone, and when you read stuff like this you realize that that was literally true—the only difference being that in this particular war only one side was using any weapons.
Put aside the stale platitudes about courage and justice and really think about that for a minute: imagine going somewhere where whatever tenuous rights you have exist only on paper and where a vocal majority of the citizens and leaders are committed to impeding them. Imagine that you've seen friends and colleagues tortured and murdered for putting up the slightest resistance, while the torturers and murderers have consistently gone free. Imagine deliberately setting about to challenge those same killers, and then, amid the spit and kicks and dog bites and fire hoses and brandished shotguns, refusing on principle to raise a finger against your opponents. And once you've pictured all that, clench your fists at the gall of anyone who invokes the names of these heroes to justify their own spineless adherence to the status quo.
It was interesting reading these comics alongside Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, a decidedly pro-violence work which served as a foundational text for the Black Power movement in the days when nonviolence had begun to lose steam. It seems like we've been trying ever since to pit these two "sides" against one another—Malcolm vs. Martin, BPP vs. SNCC, Fanon vs. Mandela—and to argue about which one got it right, but as usual the historical reality tends to be more fluid than that. For all the ideological head-butting that necessarily went on (Kwame Ture [formerly Stokely Carmichael], Lewis's successor as SNCC chairman and one of the fathers of Black Power, makes a couple of unflattering cameos in March), it's difficult to imagine either school fully existing or succeeding without the other. There's an event depicted here—it also shows up in the excellent Ava DuVernay film Selma—which illustrates this reciprocal relationship well: at a pivotal moment in the Selma protests, when MLK had been jailed and resolve was waning, Malcolm X himself flew to Alabama to stir things up. His intention, as he later explained to Coretta Scott King, wasn't to hinder her husband's efforts, but to aid them: he made King's demands more palatable by showing the white establishment what they'd have to deal with if nonviolence failed to persuade them.
The three volumes of March are impressive in their scope, rich in their historical detail, and just as dynamically and arrestingly illustrated as the content deserves. Lewis and his team do excellent work condensing mountains of raw material into a lively and accessible narrative without oversimplifying it or watering it down, and it's hard to imagine that anyone could finish these books without feeling the weight and the seriousness of the events they depict. For that reason I think every American—and probably most non-Americans, too—would do well to read them.
I was oh so very, very late to this incredible series. After the third volume won the National Book Award, I knew it was time to pick it up. I read all three books just after the new year and had no idea how absurdly relevant it would be this month. Honestly, at this point what is even left to say about March? It is informative, inspiring, more than a little depressing, and really beautifully drawn. What surprised me the most is how much more radical SNCC was than Dr. King. I don’t think I really understood the differences between the various civil rights organizations active in the 1950s and ’60s until reading these books. I’ve respected John Lewis for a long time but this series gave me a whole new level of appreciation for him. If you, like me, have been avoiding picking up these books, do it now. They are fantastic and (sadly) more relevant than ever.
March deserves all the stars . It’s haunting and important and beautifully made and it even made me cry a handful of times. Graphic memories are one of my favorite things in the world because they create a special relation with the reader ,it engages you in a different, more meaningful way. This is the type of book that it’s worth spending time reading ,this is the type of story that needs to be told.
داستان مصور چند جنبش مدنی در آمریکا، در دههی پنجاه و نیمهی اول دههی شصت. اگر من از نشر اطراف پول میگرفتم برای ریویو نوشتن، حتما در بوق و کرنا میکردم که وای یک کتاب مصور عالی و خوشخوان، که به موضوع بسیار مهمی میپردازد و در ترجمههای فارسی جای کتاب مصور بزرگسالان خالی است و بلاببلاب... پس بروید هشتاد و خردهای هزار تومان پول بالای این کتاب بدهید. اما خب، نه من از کسی پول میگیرم، نه نقد جای تعارف است. کتاب عمدتا به دو جریان عمدهی حقوق مدنی سیاهپوستان میپردازد و طرفداریشان را میکند. یکی «کمیتهی هماهنگی دانشجویان علیه خشونت» (SNCC) که جان لوییس با آنها میگشت و همانطور که از اسمش پیداست میخواست بدون توسل به خشونت مطالبات مدنی را ببرد جلو. اوایل کار، سیاهپوستان عضو جنبش میرفتند و در رستورانهایی که حق نشستن نداشتند، مینشستند و وقتی بیرونشان میکردند، مسالمتآمیز میماندند و بعد به زندان میرفتند و آزاد میشدند و دوباره این حرکتها را انجام میدادند، تا وقتی جدایی نژادی در فلان رستوران از بین برود. کمکم تجمعات و راهپیماییهای اعتراضی بدون خشونت هم راه انداختند، یعنی برویم و توهین بشنویم و کتک بخوریم، ولی کتک نزنیم. آنها خواهان حق رای بودند و در انتهای کتاب هم به این حق دست پیدا میکنند. از دیگر سازمانهایی که کتاب بهش میپردازد و طرفدارش است، سازمان مارتین لوتر کینگ است (SCLC) که آنها هم مخالف با خشونت بودند و از حرکتهای اولیهی معروفشان همان تحریم اتوبوسهای مونتگمری در دههی پنجاه بود. کتاب همچنین بصورت فلاشفوروارد میرود به مراسم تحلیف اوباما. که یعنی ببینید اینجا در صفحهی قبل پلیسهای سفیدپوست نژادپرست دهن ما را سرویس کردند ولی در صفحهی بعد دیدید که بعد از پنجاه سال اثرش را گذاشت و یک رئیسجمهور سیاهپوست داریم، هورا. بر اساس همین مشیِ پرهیز از خشونت، که حالت اخلاق مسیحی هم دارد که بابا جان اگر اینور رو زدی بیا اونور رو هم بزن که قرینه بشه و به دشمنان خود عشق بورزید و اینها، کتاب از کسی مثل مالکوم ایکس دل خوشی ندارد. هرچند چند صفحهای بهش میپردازد و میگوید که مرد خوبی بود، ولیکن او معتقد بود که برای رسیدن به حقوق مدنی میتوان از هر روشی استفاده کرد. بخش عمدهای از کتاب تقاضای پیروان جان لوییس است برای رای دادن. جان لوییس هم که بعدا شد نمایندهی مجلس. خب بنابراین این کتاب صرفا آن قسمت از جنبش سیاهپوستان را به عنوان «جنبش مدنی سیاهپوستان» جا میزند که در همین حد مطالبه داشتند (بعنوان مثال به جنگ ویتنام اشارهای نمیشود). اما کتاب به لحاظ ترتیب زمانی تاریخی، خودش را نمیرساند به دورهی تاسیس و فعالیت پلنگهای سیاه. چرا که واضحا اصول جان لوییس مخالف اسلحه و افکار سوسیالیستی است. حتا SNCC یکی از اعضایش را به خاطر افکار کمونیستی (که آن دوره مسلما حساسیتبرانگیزتر بودند) اخراج میکند. مالکوم ایکس هم این نکته را به نویسندهی کتاب ما گوشزد میکند که عزیزم، قضیه نژادی نیست، طبقاتی است، دنیا از فقر در رنج است. میخواهم بگویم ایدههای سازمانی مثل پلنگهای سیاه که از امپریالیسم سیاه هم به همان اندازه بیزار بود، بسیار متفاوت است با این دوستِ نویسندهی نمایندهی مجلس ما. کسی که اوباما موقع تحلیف بغلش میکند و میگوید ممنون، که یعنی بخاطر تلاشهای شما است که من اینجا هستم. بسیار عالی. یک رئیسجمهور سیاه داریم. آیا چیزی عوض شده؟ آیا سیستم تولید مداوم فقرا ریشهکن شده و آیا سیاست خارجی این دولت دموکرات فلان در قبال کشتن و آواره کردنِ مردم سوریه متفاوت است با قبلیها و بعدیهایش؟ بگذارید در انتها سوالی را مطرح کنم که پلنگهای سیاه معتقد بودند جنبش مدنی قادر به پاسخگوییاش نیست: "How would black people in America win not only formal citizenship rights, but actual economic and political power?"
An essential read for those looking to get a grasp on the Civil Rights Movement and John Lewis' prominent role in it. Andrew Aydin's straightforward storytelling is complemented wonderfully by Nate Powell's evocative artwork. The series is full of violence, death, and racism, yet there's a strain of hope and inspiration running through it. Ultimately, it's a beautiful tribute to its co-author, John Lewis.
Everyone should read this trilogy. Everyone. A powerful depiction of such an important part of American history through the experiences of one of the Civil Rights Movement's great figures, John Lewis. The artwork reaches out of the page and grabs you, forces you to face an ugly part of history that many would rather forget. But after completing this set, hopefully people will realize how important it is to remember...to remember that in the face of discrimination, bigotry, and hatred, people banded together, in the name of peace and love, to fight for equality. And because of them, there was change. It happened then, and it can happen again.
Beautifully written and beautifully drawn. I think this is something that people of all ages and all backgrounds can enjoy and learn something from. It's sort of an "insiders account" of the civil rights movement and I enjoyed learning about some of the differences of the various groups and leaders. I'm glad to own this, as I am looking forward to keeping this around and referring to it periodically.
کتاب پیادهها، یک روایت مصور از خاطرات جان لوییس در مورد جنبش حقوق مدنی سیاهپوستان آمریکاست که با اعتراضات بدون خشونت به جداسازی نژادی در بوفههای نهار شروع میشه و به راهپیمایی سلما ختم میشه. در کل شش سال، از پنجاه و نه تا شصت و پنج رو پوشش میده و اطلاعات بسیار خوبی در مورد افراد و اتفاقات ارائه میکنه. روایت جذاب و تصویرسازیهای خوبی داره و زمین گذاشتنش کار راحتی نیست. توصیه میکنم حتما بخونیدش.
Me ha costado muchísimo encontrar las palabras para hablar de esta lectura y aún sigo pensando que todo lo que diga se queda corto.
'March' comienza en los años 50 y relata el arduo camino que supuso la lucha por los Derechos Civiles Afroamericanos (Selma 1965). Al documentarme para el artículo sobre Big Mama Thornton descubrí algunas historias personales ( Mammie Till, Claudette Colvin, Recy Taylor...- algún día hablaré de ellas-) que me hicieron ser más consciente de las voces silenciadas e injusticias que se cometieron durante la segregación. Esta crónica ha rellenado ciertos huecos que tenía, dejándome muda.
Confieso que he llorado mucho con algunos episodios de este cómic...de rabia, frustración, impotencia..., aunque también de emoción por cada avance conquistado. Una parte de mí sigue sin poder entender cómo un ser humano puede cometer semejantes atrocidades contra otro por su color de piel, religión, cultura o sexo.
Vemos cada día cómo los discursos de odio siguen muy vivos, han crecido en los últimos años. Lo que en muchos casos a nosotros nos parece inverosímil, ridículo o superado, cala en otras personas; y, no solo lo creen, sino que están dispuestos a llevar a cabo esas ideas hasta sus últimas consecuencias. Los políticos segregacionistas utilizaban sus prejuicios en los medios que luego llevaban a la práctica otros. Todo con el beneplácito de los estados del norte, que no hacían nada. Los dejaron solos defendiendo sus derechos, hasta que la situación fue insostenible y, mirar hacia otro lado, ya no era una solución, sino parte del problema.
El racismo en EEUU no se ha superado ni por asomo; ni allí, ni en ningún rincón del planeta. La realidad nos muestra que muchas murieron asesinadas por defender los derechos y libertades actuales. Tal vez sea el momento de releer la historia con otra mirada, más diversa, y seguir luchando por crear un mundo más tolerante, empático y justo. Recoger el testigo, es nuestro deber, una manera de honrar a todas esas personas que sacrificaron su vida por un futuro en el que vivir libres y sin miedo.
Eso de leerte el cómic de alguien y que ese alguien muera justo al día siguiente te deja con una sensación rara. Como si en mal momento le hubieras recordado su existencia a las parcas con el mero acto de la lectura, ya ves tú la tontada.
Dos cosas me han gustado e interesado especialmente en este cómic: 1) Refleja los acontecimientos vividos con una gran humildad, sin autobombo; es el relato de alguien que viene a decir «estuve allí e hice lo que tenía que hacer», lejos de la tentación del yo, yo y yo o la falsa modestia en que a veces caen los relatos de liderazgo. De hecho, muestra la lucha por los derechos civiles ante todo como una labor colectiva, con muchos más nombres implicados aparte de los que siempre se citan, e innumerables aportaciones anónimas pero no menos importantes (no sé si es cosa mía, pero me parece que algún repasito recibe Martin Luther King). 2) Muestra desde dentro el funcionamiento de una campaña basada en la resistencia no violenta y el tremendo compromiso que exige para ser efectiva, los difíciles matices entre el ideal de amar al enemigo y las ganas de reventarle la cabeza, el tratar con respeto incluso a quien te está escupiendo y no por ello exigir con menos firmeza tus derechos. Personalmente, siempre he tenido problemas para entender la lucha no violenta, y este cómic me ha permitido situar mejor en mi bruta cabecita las piezas, aunque siga siéndome más fácilmente digerible el «send him to the cemetery» de Malcolm X.
Cuando alguien muere lo usual es el panegírico aunque no sea del todo merecido. En el caso de John Lewis creo que era de esas personas que justificó plenamente su paso por la tierra. Que esta le sea leve.
17. March (Trilogy) by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell published: Book One 2013, Book Two 2015, Book Three 2016 format: 560 pages over three paperback books acquired: in March read: Apr 15-18 rating: *****
John Lewis was one of the big six nonviolent civil rights leaders in the 1960's. He was by far the youngest, only in his early 20's when he became the leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC. But on March 7, 1965, he ended up, without the SNCC, leading the march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital that provoked Bloody Sunday. Just outside Selma, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Alabama state police waited and then attacked the marchers with billy clubs in front of TV cameras. They were so brutal that Lewis ended up with a cracked skull. Public outrage over the event gave Lyndon Johnson the necessary momentum to push through the Voting Rights Act. Lewis did a lot of things, but literally getting his head cracked that day would be his most important.
Recommended because it's well done, and an amazing and moving story, and because we forget how deep the blind racism in the country was, and, apparently still is. And because of the insight into other civil rights leaders and some of the other leaders of the era. I think what struck me was how alone Lewis was, especially the night he was attacked and later was left by himself in a hospital bed, overnight, in pain. He would give an important speech the next day.
I spent the afternoon on the couch reading March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. It's a comic book trilogy that is the story of the Civil Right Movement through Congressman Lewis' eyes.
While I'm reading very little current news right now, I am reading a lot of American history. I'm in a Civil Rights phase that started with Devil in the Grove. I'm sure some of my recent work with Defy Ventures had caused me to dig in deeper into this segment of American history. I know that my reaction to the recent election is reinforcing this.
I was born in December 1965 so the Voting Rights Act had already passed. While I was born in Arkansas I grew up in Dallas, Texas so I was somewhat disconnected from the dynamics of race in the deep south and instead got to experience a different dimension of it since there is generally a Texas version of most things.
I've always been confused by the labels Hispanic and Latino and, after living in Boston from 1983 - 1994 and getting a dose of a totally different version of race dynamics than I'd had in Dallas, I realized my upbringing in fashionable far North Dallas was a comfortably privileged one.
Reading a book like March in 2016 helps me realize how far we've come as a country, but at the same time reminds me how much more we can and need to do.
خاطرات جان لوییس در قالب کمیک جالبه و کشش کافی برای اینکه کتاب رو سریع تا آخر بخونی رو داره، حتی برای کسی که شاید به سیاست علاقهای نداره یا از مسائل حقوق مدنی اطلاعات چندانی نداره
نکته مثبت کتاب به نظرم اینه که سعی میکنه به قدر کافی و خیلی ساده اطلاعات خوبی از جنبش حقوق مدنی آمریکا در اختیار مخاطب بذاره و روشنگری کنه و روایت کتاب به نوعی در لبه بین مستند و قصه حرکت میکنه، پیشنهاد میکنم بعد از خوندن کتاب فیلم سینمایی Selma رو ببینید که زندگی مارتین لوتر کینگ رو تو اون دوره روایت میکنه و اتفاقا جان لوییس هم تو این فیلم به عنوان یک کاراکتر کلیدی در جنبش حضور داره
Every American should read this series in order to understand the full history and current state of racism in our country. Black Lives Matter is not new. In 1964, Ella Baker gave a speech saying, "Until the killing of black mothers' sons is as important as the killing of white mothers' sons - we must keep on." (Book 3, p. 99)
March is a trilogy of graphic novels. This series is first and foremost a history of the Civil Rights Movement. Though written in the first person by John Lewis, it is not an autobiography, and we are given very little insight into John Lewis's personal relationships.
Book 1: This book sets up the model for storytelling. It is the morning of President Barack Obama's inauguration. Brief scenes of John Lewis in Washington, DC are interspersed with flashbacks as he tells stories of his childhood to constituents visiting his office early that morning. Eventually the constituents and John Lewis need to go separate ways, and the reader remains the only audience for the flashbacks. I felt this book was the most accessible in terms of being a narrative, and setting the stage of what's to come. While I knew about the main events of the Civil Rights Movement - like the lunch counter sit-ins - I really did not know, before reading this book, just how much training, preparation, and planning went into them.
Book 2: After the success of the lunch counter sit-ins, civil rights groups initiated a campaign of stand-ins to de-segregate movie theaters. But mostly this book focuses on the Freedom Rides. Again, I was familiar with the general idea, but I had much to learn. By putting themselves into life-threatening danger, participants had to apply and were extensively trained. The horrible treatment they endured is almost unthinkable, and yet, there it was, illustrated on the page. Very powerful. This book ends with the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
Book 3: This book is the most intense of the three, explicitly detailing the horrific events surrounding the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL (in which four young girls died), and also of Selma, AL, which I was somewhat more familiar with because of the 2014 movie. The accounts in this book make it clear that the Civil Rights Movement was an agonizing series of demonstrations, arrests, marches, beatings, and funerals. So many funerals. This book also touched upon the internal controversies within the Civil Rights Movement, including disagreements between organizations in regards to methods of protest, and disagreements within organizations in regards to the role of white people in the movement.
It's worth noting that this series is targeted for a teenage audience. Besides the physical violence depicted in the drawings, the first book uses the n-word, the second book uses the s-word, and the third book uses the f-word and makes a passing mention of sex.
While supremely important for everyone to read, I would probably actually give the book just shy of 5 stars because the delivery of names and dates at times felt text-book-like, even despite the graphic novel context. I think the graphic novel medium was a genius method for illustrating - especially to younger audiences - just how violent the Civil Rights Movement was. But even as an adult reading this trilogy, I got lost in the names, particularly in the way every person was introduced solely within their role in the Civil Rights Movement. We did not get to know the private, surely complex people behind the names, and I sometimes felt I would have gotten even more out of the books if I had actually known more about some of the other players already.
Also, the series seemed to end on a cliffhanger. As Book 3 progressed, SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) became increasingly fractured, and one of the last lines of the story is, "It was the last day of the movement as I knew it." The trilogy ends with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, three years before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. But what happened to SNCC? What happened to John Lewis, as he adapted to the changing needs of the movement? An epilogue would have been nice. Guess I'll just have to pick up an actual biography of John Lewis to find out more about the man himself!
I have been meaning to get to John Lewis' graphic-biography trilogy for some time now and while it would have made a great Black History Month read last month, being a lover of puns/wordplay/etc. it still made a pretty good reading project for... well, March (of 2018). You often hear the phrase "required reading," but I can not think of a better example than this. While I did know some of the history of the civil rights movement, this trilogy clearly showed I did not know nearly enough. And what a blessing (and not being a religious person, that's saying something!) that we still have Rep. John Lewis around to tell these stories that are not too far removed from my own lifetime.
From the lunch counter sit-in protests to the Freedom Riders to the March on Selma, John Lewis was there and while all this could have been done in a traditional print biography (and I'm guessing it's been done), the visuals of this graphic work bring it up a notch -- sometimes it is not always about the spoken or written word. I have to admit to getting goosebumps a time or two thanks to the combination of the soaring and aspirational words and the visuals on the page.
And while we have come so far, there were also times when it seems we have not. Some of the panels capture some of the racial strife and prejudices that still very much exists today. While capturing these key and iconic moments in the civil rights moment, the book also intersperses scenes for the first Obama inauguration. I'm guessing at the time of the trilogy's original publication one must have had a very different feeling when coming to these sections from 2009. So while it feels like the country is moving backwards in so many ways with Obama's successor, one can not help but still feel inspired and hopeful that in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." -- it just feels like we're in one of the long parts right now.
And go ahead and splurge and purchase the beautiful slipcase set - I can't imagine anyone would want to stop at just one of these books (plus you save a bit of money too vs. buying each individually).
This book is definitely all it's cracked up to be. Not overrated. 10/10, would recommend.
First, it's probably the most coherent narrative of the major events of the Civil Rights Movement that I've ever read. This makes sense because John Lewis was there for most of them. Told from his point of view, all of those famous events—Rosa Parks & the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Rides & sit-ins, Medgar Evers & the Birmingham church bombing, the March on Washington & the Selma-to-Montgomery marches—become connected elements of an even bigger story. These are interspersed with lots of arrests and beatings.
One of my biggest takeaways was the radical self-discipline of the early civil rights demonstrators. They practiced getting beat up, yelled at, spit on in advance so they understood how to not react in the face of violence. If you couldn't turn the other cheek, you weren't welcome at a sit-in. Among other things, this gave them clear moral high ground and made them immune to provocateurs. It also trained them to show the fuck up week after week, all over the South, and to be extremely focused and tenacious in their activism. Self-discipline is clearly something our society, and our SJWs, could use a lot more of.
The "present" of the book is Obama's first inauguration. It really captures the optimism of the time, a triumph over the completely bonkers voter suppression of just 45 years prior. And it was. But I read this in February 2017, and intense racism is still entrenched at every level of American society today. So that's hard. Bring tissues.
There are some really charming anecdotes too: young Lewis's obsession with his family's chickens, a random run-in with Malcom X in Nairobi, a night spent dancing with Shirley MacLaine and she kept waiting for him to make a move but he never did, LBJ's dirty mouth.
Anyway, the subject matter couldn't be better. This book would have been highly acclaimed even if the art and writing weren't so gorgeous. This book has some of the most beautiful an expressive lettering I've ever seen.
This is part autobiography, and a first-person account of the Civil Rights movement by the author John Lewis, who was at the head of the movement. While I have read a few books - The Help, The Edge of Eternity by Follett describing how bad the situation was for the "blacks" in USA, reading it as a graphic novel was something else. The open racism and brutality from every1 right upto the Governors and judges was shocking. The tone is matter-of-fact, no-nonsense yet passionate and engaging. The growth of the movement from its very beginning to the signing of the Voting Rights bill is beautifully described. And the icing on the cherry was that Obama's inaugration was interspersed with the story. It also made me hugely respect the non-violence which they followed and as an Indian was proud that they repeatedly cited Mahatma Gandhi as their inspiration. Must-read.
Me resultó interesante aunque a la vez es crudo como la realidad dado que está basando en su vida y vivencias, todo lo que lucho, y como se debe sentir ahora con todo lo que pasa todavía tiene que ser frustrarte. Es toda una experiencia a pesar de los sentimientos de frustración y desesperación que pasé por ello paré de leer para coger aire.
A brilliant, beautifully rendered depiction of the Civil Rights Movement. Even though Lewis is at the heart of this story, it’s really a celebration and honoring of all of the folks and organizations who were boots on the ground during one of the most difficult and divisive times in our country’s history. This trilogy really serves as a crash course history of sorts of the movement. Lewis juxtaposes the inauguration of Barack Obama with his life story in order to trace the progression of the Civil Rights Movement and highlight its ultimate wins for African Americans in this country. I’m not a big graphic novel reader and did find some of the pages and panels to be quite busy (I wasn’t sure at times what to read first in many of the panels) but the illustrations are stunning, and Nate Powell, the illustrator, uses color and shading to capture all of the emotions and adversity that were involved with fighting for equality in the 1960s. I would consider this required reading for anyone looking to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and how events unfolded; the narrative covers a lot of ground: the murder of Emmett Till, the 1963 bombing of the Birmingham church, the founding of SNCC, the founding of SCLC, dozens of imprisonments of activists, the Greensboro sit-ins and subsequent protest of businesses, the assassination of JFK, and the Freedom Summer in Mississippi, just to name a handful of them. The trilogy really offers comprehensive coverage and should be read together (rather than as separate books). I really loved this!
-در باب ترجمه- به نظرم بهتر و حتی لازم بود که یه سری پانویس و توضیح در مورد جزییاتی از روایت برای خوانندهی فارسیزبان جایی در کتاب اضافه میشد که اطلاعاتی که برای یک آمریکایی بدیهیه (در حد حتی نقشهی آمریکا و موقعیت جغرافیایی شهرهایی که قصه داره توشون اتفاق میفته) رو یذره شرح بده که خوانندهی بختبرگشته یه چشمش به ویکیپدیا نباشه یه چشمش به کتاب.
I had heard of March on Litsy, my current favorite bookish social media platform. People were posting pictures of various pages from the graphic novels and discussing Congressman John Lewis's incredible story.
I kept thinking I should buy this trilogy. But I do try to limit the number of physical books I buy.
And then in January Donald Trump tweeted. The Washington Post wrote "Rep. John Lewis's books sell out following Donald Trump's attacks."
And I couldn't buy March? I don't think so. I waited patiently for my Trilogy Slipcase Edition to arrive.
Even better, some fabulous people over at Litsy decided to read #MarchInMarch with anyone else who wanted to share their thoughts on this inspirational story of the only Civil Rights speaker from the 1963 March on Washington who is still alive.
Book One begins by setting the tone for the entire trilogy.
John Lewis is marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the day known as Bloody Sunday. He and everyone on the bridge are praying when they are attacked by the armed policemen.
The last images are Lewis's hands dragging across the pavement as he offers no resistance to his attackers. The image just blacks out implying that Lewis did as well.
After the inside title page featuring a beautiful sunrise seen from the Lincoln Memorial, Lewis shifts his story to January 20, 2009, Inauguration Day for President Barrack Obama. This shift in narration and consistent use of President Obama's historic Inauguration as a framing device in all three of the books periodically remind the reader that hope does exist.
Once Congressman Lewis arrives at his office on Capitol Hill he begins retelling his story to a few young children from his district.
Pike County Alabama is less than 90 miles from Selma. John Lewis grew up helping to work his family's farm, loving school, and preaching to the chickens he raised.
At age 11, Lewis travels to Buffalo with his Uncle Otis. The drive out of the deep South is harrowing. They bring baskets of food and rely on Otis' prior knowledge of places that allow African-Americans to buy gas and use the "colored" washrooms.
Once he gets to Buffalo, though, Lewis sees what the world may offer him. Interracial neighborhoods. Escalators. Bags of candy. City life.
Returning to Alabama is difficult for Lewis because now he knows. He knows that he doesn't have to accept the world as it is around him.
Lewis recalls loving his trips to the library. He even remembers the name of his librarian! Even though he couldn't live in Buffalo, he could connect with the African-American community outside of his own through magazines and books.
He also tells how he would skip his farm chores by hiding until the school bus would drive by. Then he'd dash out to meet the bus because he knew how important his education would be.
The use of the Inauguration Day frame story allows Lewis to fast forward to his college years in Nashville at the American Baptist Theological Seminary.
While he's in Nashville, he meets Jim Lawson and Diane Nash. Together they study non-violence. Their group grows and trains. They begin sit-ins at various segregated lunch counters around Nashville.
They also begin serving time for their arrests. They would not pay bail and allow the corrupt system to profit from injustice.
While Book One ends with the mayor desegregating the lunch counters in Nashville, the image of three angry white males watching two African-American men enter a diner crystallizes the tension around them.
Book Two picks up with the Nashville student group focusing on fast food restaurants and cafeterias. Once again the non-violent protestors are met with violence. They begin standing in line for movie theater tickets. When they are refused admittance, they get back in line. Violence escalates there as well.
Ultimately, Rev. Will Campbell came in to discuss the escalating violence. While Lewis respected Campbell's concerns, he advocated for marching. Over a two-page spread, Lewis repeats, "We're gonna march" three times.
While this response infuriates the older members of the group, Lewis finds himself steady with his beliefs. He continues to protest the segregation policies at the movie theaters and ends up in jail on his twenty-first birthday.
Then the story focuses on the summer of 1961 and the Freedom Rides. CORE, in keeping with Gandhi's non-violent practices, sent out letters explaining their plan for civil disobedience.
As I read Book Two of March, I also watched Freedom Riders on PBS' American Experience. This worthwhile two-hour documentary includes interview segments with John Lewis.
While I knew that Dr. King had spoken at the mass gathering at the First Baptist Church, I did not know that when the governor placed Montgomery under "qualified martial law" the Alabama National Guard kept the freedom riders and all people at the meeting trapped inside the church.
And the freedom riders kept pushing. These young college students would not back down to even the more traditional leaders in the Civil Rights Movement. They knew that they had to take a stand.
While the thought of going to Parchman terrified them, the idea of backing down was unthinkable.
Then in 1963 George Wallace becomes the 45th Governor of Alabama. While I despise him, I love the effectiveness of the panel below depicting his snarling face. The fear he must have instilled in people as they look up as the columns rise into the sky like they're elevating his hateful words.
"Bombingham" is the nickname earned. I wonder how locals perceive that city today.
Dr. King goes to jail and famously smuggles out his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," which famously defends non-violence and calls upon everyone to break unjust laws as a matter of moral principle and responsibility.
And then the children begin marching. When I was in Memphis at the National Civil Rights Museum, I saw a photo of an African-American girl holding a sign that said, "Can a man love God and hate his brother?"
Her depiction within the graphic novel transcends the famous photograph from the exhibit. The wall plaque stated that the photo was taken just before police took their signs away. But the unending quest for human dignity? That wouldn't be stopped. How can these protests be anything but humiliating for Birmingham and the entire nation?
Book Two begins to close with the 1963 March on Washington.
Of particular interest to me was the controversy surrounding the speech John Lewis gave that day. The graphic novel depicts the speech he ultimately gave after much arguing and revising.
At the end of the book, you can read his draft of his original speech that he wanted to deliver. There are some serious changes in the word choices and tone.
Here's a piece of the speech he gave:
“We will march through the South; through the streets of Jackson, through the streets of Danville, through the streets of Cambridge, through the streets of Birmingham. But we will march with the spirit of love and with the spirit of dignity that we have shown here today. By the force of our demands, our determination, and our numbers, we shall splinter the segregated South into a thousand pieces, and put them together in the image of God and democracy. We must say: ‘Wake up, America! Wake up!!’”
Here's the same segment from his original draft:
“The time will come when we will not confine our marching to Washington. We will march through the South, through the heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own ‘scorched earth’ policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground — nonviolently. We shall fragment the South into a thousand pieces and put them back together in the image of democracy. We will make the action of the past few months look petty. And I say to you, WAKE UP AMERICA!”
Book Three opens with the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and ensuing violence on African-Americans in that community.
At this point in the movement, Diane Nash and John Lewis turn their attention to voting rights. In April 1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party is established to challenge the traditional all white Democratic Party delegation at the Democratic National Convention.
To prepare for the Freedom Summer, two groups, SNCC and CORE, began recruiting college students. These two groups made up of mostly younger non-traditional Civil Rights leaders knew that sending college students into Mississippi to educate African-American adults and encourage them to try to register to vote would be dangerous.
They screened applicants to find the truly dedicated.
During Freedom Summer, Mickey Schwerner, Andy Goodman, and James Chaney were murdered. Their bodies buried and hidden.
While Freedom Summer continued, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. While this law was useful in helping to desegregate American society, it did nothing to empower African-Americans to determine their own future with an unregulated right to vote.
Later in the summer Rockefeller and Goldwater battle for the Republican nomination.
And the traditional Democrats effectively block the Mississippi Freedom Party from representing anyone. Johnson receives the nomination and he goes on to win re-election in a landslide.
If you want to see a fantastic graphic of Johnson's electoral win, go to 270toWin.
As Lewis points out, Johnson still lost the South.
Back in Selma, more and more citizens were lining up outside the courthouses waiting to register to vote.
At one point a third grade teacher and one of her students was arrested and jailed. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyers were able to get everyone released that same day. But, as one of my Litsy friends sarcastically put it: You know you're on the right side of history when you're arresting third graders.
After the assassination of Malcolm X, and the death of another protestor Jimmie Lee Jackson, John Lewis decides that he must stand with the people of Selma and march.
Here the graphic novel shows John Lewis singing as he packs his backpack to march on Bloody Sunday, and then the story switches back to Inauguration Day for President Obama. As the President greets everyone at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building, John Lewis is overcome with emotion.
He asks President Obama to sign his invitation.
After Bloody Sunday and Turnaround Tuesday, President Johnson delivers a nationwide address about the events in Selma. Lewis characterizes the speech as "one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard an American president give on civil rights."
On March 21, 1965, John Lewis joins the major civil rights leaders of the time and together they march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge and on to Montgomery.
And finally the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is signed into law. The last few pages focus on Lewis's thoughts on the Civil Rights Movement and the immediate impact of the Inauguration of America's first African-American President. The sentiments on those pages brought tears to my eyes.
March should be required reading for every American, but most especially our ignorant 45th tweeter in chief. Trump wrote, "Congressman Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about election results. All talk, talk, talk - no actions or results. Sad!"
John Lewis embodies action and results. He is the march: body, mind, and spirit.
It’s tempting from a distance to focus on the grand gestures and the grand atrocities of the Civil Rights Era – such as the March on Washington that elevated Martin Luther King to national prominence and the vicious beatings at the Edmund Pettis Bridge. These events dominate the history books as well as popular lore. March, the collaborative graphic novel, also tells much about what went on behind the scenes at smaller actions and at internal strategy meetings. The civil rights movement was a daily concern, a long slog, for John Lewis and other pioneers.
The three books that comprise March cover a period in the life of John Lewis from 1960 to 1965. Lewis collaborated with graphic artists to write the story of his youthful commitment to addressing some of the most egregious inequities facing African Americans. Lewis died this past year at age 80, a long-revered member of Congress. The unifying device for the story is the inauguration of Barack Obama. A mother and her two sons have showed up for the historic inauguration, and they stop by Lewis’ congressional office. Lewis tells them his early story.
Book one focuses on lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, where Lewis was a student. The lunch counter sit-ins were ground breaking because people were putting their bodies on the line in a way that was new. Lewis’ organization, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), was born.
Book two moves on to the Freedom Rides that sought to address segregation in transportation and to the March on Washington with its broader emphasis on “Jobs and Freedom.” The significance of the March came home to me. Today there are lots of marches in Washington, and it seems to me that has diluted their impact. The March is credited as influencing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Book two also shows Bull Connor of Birmingham at his most evil, finally going too far in front of cameras. The fire hoses and dogs he unleashed horrified people – finally.
Book three begins with the burning of an Alabama church, an event that riveted national attention because three girls were killed. Voting rights became a principal concern for SNCC. President Johnson’s first successful civil rights legislation in 1964 had addressed jobs and public accommodation, but not voting rights. In the deep South, it continued to be a custom that any blacks seeking to register to vote would probably find themselves unemployed the next day. It was the back-alley way of discouraging their active citizenship. Tremendous violence in Mississippi in the summer of 1964 led to the death of three civil rights workers, two of whom were white. An alternate delegation of black citizens was formed to the Democratic National Convention, claiming to be more fully representative of Mississippi. They failed to be seated, but they made an impact with their disciplined preparation. The vast and dramatic Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery was the final action leading at last to voting rights legislation.
Johnson easily won the 1964 election, but he lost the South, initiating a shift that has endured for half a century.
John Lewis was losing sway in SNCC, where the ethic of nonviolence was losing preeminence. The book taught me a lot about the internal frictions between advocates of nonviolence and those who wanted more aggressive responses.
Andrew Aydin, considered a co-author, turned Lewis’ history into narrative. Nate Powell is the artist. Their collaborative effort is a breathtaking and accessible story of the methods and the foundations of the civil rights movement. I lived through this time as a very young woman. I knew people participating in lunch counter sit-ins. I’ve tried to imagine what it would be like to read the book without some prior knowledge of this period, and I can’t quite accomplish it. Its pains are more deeply in my soul after reading March. If the history is not well known to you, I recommend this trilogy, along with Ava DuVernay’s film Selma.
I recently asked an African-American friend what kept her voting. She responded fiercely, “Because people fought and died – including some in my family – for my right to vote.”
“But I am different from my father. I feel the need of being free now.”
In the first issue of March, John Lewis recalls the way that the United States was when he was growing up while he’s getting ready for President Obama’s inauguration. Segregation was abundant in America, more so in the South. Lewis lived in Alabama and was used to segregation. What he was not used to was the North. His Uncle Otis planned a trip to take him up North. When Lewis returned to Alabama, he noticed that the differences between the North and the South weren’t ideal and that bothered him. John Lewis also talks about major milestones in the Civil Rights Movement. Including: the overruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education, the death of Emmett Till, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, sit-ins. He talks about ways he prepared and actions he took to support the Civil Rights Movement.
In the second issue of March, John Lewis Explains how the protests he and other students led escalated in violence over time. At first, they only had to worry about harassment from white teenagers. However, soon they came face to face with violent harassment from police officers, the KKK, and grown white people. Despite the violence, Lewis was determined and did not let the violence keep him from standing up for what he believed in.
In the final issue of March, Lewis dives deeper into the subject of registered African American voters. Many of them who we're eligible, weren't registered due to threats, literacy tests, and sometimes outright being denied the right to register. Some groups such as the SNCC had many volunteers that were willing to help African Americans register to vote. Some of these volunteers were arrested, harassed, and sometimes were even killed. Police force in places that they volunteered at weren’t looking to help these volunteers when they were persecuted. On the contrary, police force also harassed them. John Lewis also talks about how the federal government was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, how it effected elections, and how it affected candidates.
I learned about a lot of the key events in this book nearing the end of this school year. It was interesting (and it is important) to read, and see, the perspective of the Civil Rights Movement from a person who experienced, and was affected by, it first-hand. The Civil Rights Movement is undeniably significant and monumental movement in our country's history. I recommend it because I also ended up learning many things about the Civil Rights Movement through this comic series.
Una interesante novela gráfica que trata sobre la lucha por los derechos de los afroamericanos en el EEUU de finales de los '50 y principios de los '60, narrado a través de las memorias de John Lewis, uno de los líderes del movimiento. Para alguien como yo, que no está muy puesto en historia de los EEUU y que tiene interés en la lucha por los derechos civiles es una lectura muy recomendable, aunque supongo que si uno ya se sabe lo que pasó, no hay nada nuevo que descubrir aquí.