March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book one spans Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. Book two takes place after the Nashville sit-in campaign. 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 D.C., and from receiving beatings from state troopers, to receiving the Medal of Freedom awarded to him by Barack Obama, the first African-American president. Book three goes back in time to when Lewis is 25 years old and is chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.
His story is wrapped around his 2009 attendance to the inauguration of President Obama. Poignantly, it shows how far we have come as a country, overcoming institutional racism to elect a black president.
Sadly, it's a reminder of how we are now slipping backwards.
I loved this story! I was looking for a book to hold my attention (it's been hard to focus and nothing I was reading was doing it for me), and this did the job, and more! It engaged my emotions, my sense of history, and my need to just hear a really good, edge-of-the-seat story. It's supposedly a young adult comic book series, but it appealed to me, just because I had never heard a first-person narrative of the Civil Rights Movement told in such a way: from the beginning of the movement, to the Inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States.
If you made the mistake of thinking Mr. John Lewis was just some silly old man who took it into his head to sit down on the floor of the House of Representatives for some silly protest against gun violence, you seriously need to reconsider his role in history, and reading this book, and the whole trilogy of "March," is a good place to begin. Keep in mind that we ignore history at our peril.
Setting his story within the frame of the day of Barack