March: Book Three

by John Lewis

Other authorsNate Powell (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2016

Call number






Top Shelf Productions (2016), 256 pages


Comic and Graphic Books. History. African American Nonfiction. Young Adult Nonfiction. HTML: By Fall 1963, the Civil Rights Movement is an undeniable keystone of the national conversation, and as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is right in the thick of it. With the stakes continuing to rise, white supremacists intensify their opposition through government obstruction and civilian terrorist attacks, a supportive president is assassinated, and African-Americans across the South are still blatantly prohibited from voting. To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative projects, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and a pitched battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television. But strategic disputes are deepening within the movement, even as 25-year-old John Lewis heads to Alabama to risk everything in a historic showdown that will shock the world..… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jnwelch
What an historic, critically important graphic series this is. March Book Three, the third volume on the U.S. civil rights movement from the perspective of Congressman John Lewis, lives up to the first two volumes and then some. Lewis, who recently led a House Democratic sit-in over gun control,
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tells the story of his participation in the movement, which followed principles of non-violence. Lewis himself got beaten and imprisoned many times over in asserting rights of equality for blacks. Much of this volume concerns the constitutional right to vote, which for black voters was impeded in every way possible in Alabama (under Governor George Wallace) and other Southern states. The non-voters in the recent election (nearly half our country's population, including many minority voters) must break Lewis's heart. But, as these volumes show, it has been broken so many times I suppose he can handle anything.

While many of us lived through that time, he provides insight, context and immediacy to the events in an unmatched way. These volumes also give a perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement, and underscore the struggles to make what progress exists in racial equality. There are villains aplenty, one of the worst being Jim Clark, a vicious and determined segregationist sheriff in Dallas County, Alabama. Lewis writes that Clark, “was made all the more dangerous by the sundry gang of white men he deputized for the sole purpose of doing whatever it took to stop black people from voting.”

The Deep South resisted recognizing constitutional rights, and the federal government in Washington, under President Lyndon Johnson, dithered. Tv news replays of the brutality and injustice, as police beat and in some instances killed nonviolent protestors, helped forge public opinion and force a governmental response. Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King and others simply refused to give up, knowing their cause was right, and believing in this country more than it believed in itself. Johnson finally rose to the occasion, and a federal judge permitted the famous march to Selma. What Lewis and others went through to vindicate their right to vote is jaw-dropping.

Nate Powell's art is just right throughout, and the story well-paced.

If the subject matter holds any interest for you, you'll want to read this stunning series.
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LibraryThing member auntmarge64
Lewis is a civil rights icon. Injured numerous times and almost killed by police for trying to get blacks registered to vote in the 60s, he now serves as an important voice in the House of Representatives. This is his riveting conclusion to the graphic novel trilogy about his experiences as a
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leader in the early civil rights movement.

I found this volume to be the most gut-wrenching of the three, as violence against peaceful protesters turned more and more hateful and gruesome. Some of the personal stories are gut-wrenching, perhaps especially that of Fannie Lou Hamer, who lost her job for trying to register to vote, and then had family threatened and was beaten and arrested numerous times by police. Her televised account was a major factor in the consciousness-raising that took place in the U.S. during that time. Lewis also illustrates the reluctance of the federal government to get involved and the work done to convince LBJ to force through civil rights legislation (part of which was gutted by our Supreme Court just last year). Lewis is not shy about showing the infighting the occurred between black civil rights groups, mostly as to tactics, timing, and how much to depend on outsiders. But the main story here is the tremendous courage it took for people to fight for their rights in the face of a vicious and antagonistic police and government in the southern states.

John Lewis is one of my heroes, and these books show why. He has spent his entire adult life working to benefit those without full civil rights, often risking his own life and future. Here is a man who is a role model for how America is supposed to treat it's own citizens and others in need of protection. It would be nice if those in power here in early 2017 would take a look at their own souls and notice the comparison.
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LibraryThing member WhitneyYPL
This multiple award-winning graphic novel (National Book award, Printz award, Coretta Scott King award, among many) covers key events of the civil rghts movement through the eyes of Congressman John Lewis, who was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. The book
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begins tragically with the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, and chronicles the years until the signing of the Voting Rights Act, with an occasional flash forward to President Obama. This is a powerfully grim and courageous story of the men and women who spent years in their fight for equality, the threats and beatings they endured, and the death they witnessed. While ultimately triumphant, this book does not shy away from depicting the violence, brutality, and racism of that time. The last of a trilogy, March Book Three can be read as a stand alone. A must read for anyone interested in civil rights and American history. --JF
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LibraryThing member Bodagirl
Amazing, powerful, and revealing!
LibraryThing member sylliu
A powerfully told memoir by civil rights legend John Lewis, detailing the couple of years leading up the 1965 Voting Rights Act, including the multiple marches and demonstrations; the violence against the African-American marchers and protesters; the behind the scenes politics among the various
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civil rights groups. The graphic novel format is an extremely effective medium that brings the story to life and will connect with young readers.
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LibraryThing member MarysGirl
Finished the third volume in civil rights icon John Lewis' graphic memoir about his early days in the movement leading up to the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. This is the longest of the trilogy and covers the shortest amount of time. It opens in September 1963 with the bombing of the
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Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham which killed four young girls. Everyone remembers the horror of that act of terrorism, but I didn't know this was the church's annual "Youth Day" and 24 other children were injured. The terrorists deliberately targeted black children in their church. Shortly after that, a group of Eagle Scouts who had just attended a clan rally, shot and killed a 13-year-old black boy from his bicycle, and a police officer shot and killed a 16-year-old black youth who chucked a rock at a car full of teens who were celebrating the deaths of the girls. The book continues through to March 7, 1965, Bloody Sunday in Selma which included the beating death of Unitarian minister James Reeb, the later peaceful march to Montgomery, and the assassination of Viola Liuzzo, a 39-year-old mother from Detroit who was shuttling volunteers from Birmingham back to Selma when a car overtook hers and someone shot her in the head. Four months later on August 6, President Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law.

Although bookended with horrific violence, a lot of this book is dedicated to the behind the scenes politics and legal maneuvering both within and between the major players in the movement and government. As a policy wonk, I love to know how the sausage is made and don't fault my heroes for being human. However, some folks might find these passages a tad boring or find their icons a bit tarnished. One of my favorite stories was when President Johnson called an impromptu press conference specifically to divert the newscasts from covering the jaw-dropping testimony of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer and her attempt to register to vote in Mississippi. She described in plain language the humiliation, verbal abuse, threats to her and her family, and the severe beating that left her lame. It didn't work. The broadcasts did switch to the President's press conference in the afternoon, but they led their evening newscasts with Mrs. Hamer's heartbreaking story when many more people watched. Johnson redeemed himself in his response to Bloody Sunday with a rousing address to the nation when he promised to do all in his power to pass the Voting Rights Act:

"At times, history and fate meet at a single time, in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord, so it was a century ago at Appomattox--so it was last week in Selma, Alabama. There, long-suffering men and women peacefully protested the denial of their rights as Americans. Many of them were brutally assaulted. One good man--a man of god--was killed. But there is cause for hope--and faith in our democracy--in what is happening here tonight. For the cries of pain and the hymns and protests of oppressed people have summoned into convocation all the majesty of this great government....But even if we pass this bill [the Voting Rights Act], the battle will not be over. What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and state of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause, too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice--and we SHALL overcome."

As with the other two volumes, this book is framed and interspersed with touching scenes from President Obama's first inauguration which brought back that overwhelming sense of pride and optimism the majority of the nation felt at that time. It's been heartening to read of the heroism of the Civil Rights activists and remember the long way we've come as individuals and as a society. Although the current political climate and the rise of hate crimes is discouraging, I take hope in Dr. Martin Luther King's observation, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
Violence escalated in Birmingham upon the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church which resulted in the deaths of four young black girls. The church was a well known meeting place for civil rights activists and so members of the Ku Klux Klan planted dynamite beneath the front steps on that
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fateful day.

Volume Three of this incredible story outlines the many difficulties the movement went through. Not only from white supremacists and people set against desegregation but also from within the movement when differences of opinions caused ill feelings to flare up. This was a pivotal point in the history of America, the assassination of President Kennedy, the disappearance and murder of the three freedom workers in Mississippi, the efforts to register black people for the vote, the fight to gain recognition at the Democratic National Convention and the Selma to Montgomery March that captured America’s attention. March: Book Three closes with President Johnson’s signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Congressman Lewis’s story is an inspiring one, but also one that reminds us that this struggle has not ended. People today are still looking for social change in the areas of freedom and equality. I believe these three books with their incredible and stunning artwork and straight forward yet emotionally touching delivery will prove to be an extremely helpful tool in defining this struggle.
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LibraryThing member thelibraryladies
John Lewis, noted Civil Rights Activist and Georgia Congressman, can now add another fabulous moniker to his name: National Book Award Winner. On November 16th, 2016, he won the National Book Award (in the Young Readers category) for his book “March: Book 3”, the conclusion to his
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autobiographical graphic novel series about his time during the Civil Rights Movement. I caught his acceptance speech, and like many other people, cried deeply because I was so happy for him, and it clearly meant so so much on so many levels. By total coincidence, I had just read “March: Book 2” that morning. It had been awhile since I read “Book 1”, and was playing catch up. So then all I had to do was wait for “Book 3” to come in, vowing that once it did I was going to review the entire work as a whole. Because that’s what the “March” Trilogy is: it’s one large story about a remarkable man during a tumultuous time, a story about a movement that changed the nation and a movement that seems all the more relevant today. So I waited. And “Book 3” finally came in for me. So now, let me tell you about this fabulous series.

“March: Book 1” starts with Lewis’s childhood as the son of a sharecropper in rural Alabama and goes through the Lunch Counter Protests in Nashville. From a young age Lewis had a drive and a passion to lead and learn, his early aspirations of being a preacher evolving into the leadership and commitment that he put forth while in the Nashville Student Movement, and then into the broader Civil Rights Movement as a whole. “March: Book 2” talks about his time with the Freedom Riders and the violence they faced during their non violent protests and demonstrations, all leading up to the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. This book deals more with the growing aggression of the white citizens and government, as well as the Federal Government starting to waffle and teeter and struggle with the role that it should be playing. It’s also the book that shows Lewis and his own inner struggles, as while non violence is always the mission and the goal, his resentment and anger threatens to boil over. “March: Book 3” is the conclusion, and addresses Freedom Summer, Voting Rights, and Selma. And this story is told all within the frame of the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Stunning framework, absolutely beautiful. There are multiple parallels between things in “Book 1” that come up again in “Book 3”, and there are themes that link all of them together not just with Lewis, but with other prominent figures as well. Lewis sets out to tell all of their stories as best he can, and the result is one of the best damn graphic novel series I have ever read.

This series is so powerful and personal, and it goes to show just how remarkable John Lewis is. He’s one of the ‘Big Six’, aka one of the most influential members of the Civil Rights Movement, and one of the only ones left, as he reminds us in “Book 1”. These books are very straight forward and simple, but they are so honest and personal that the power they have is immense. I found myself crying many times during my reads of all these books, but also laughing, and cheering, and seething. Lewis brought out so many emotions in me with his story, and his immense talent as a storyteller comes through, just as his charisma does. We get to see the story of the Civil Rights Movement through his eyes, and he tells us the stories of those involved within the movement and those who influenced it from the outside as well. Yes, at times these books are violent, and upsetting, but they need to be, because the horrors that fell upon many people during their non violent protests must never be forgotten. I think that the entirety is an accomplishment, but I understand why they gave the National Book Award to “Book 3”. After all, while it is probably symbolic of awarding the whole darn thing, I think that “Book 3” was the most powerful in terms of emotion being served, be it pride, fear, rage, or determination. It certainly was the one that had me weeping from the get go, as the very first moment was the bombing of the 16th Baptist Church that killed four little girls. The violence is absolutely horrifying, but it cannot be forgotten or glossed over. It absolutely cannot. “March: Book 3” also was the one to really address the differences of ideologies within the movement as a whole, not just between King and X, but Lewis and SNCC as well. And Lewis also has no qualms addressing the fact that LBJ, while he did ultimately get things going on a Federal level, was incredibly reluctant to do much in terms of help until he absolutely HAD to. I think that realities get lost in the historical narratives that come in our educations, and that is absolutely why the “March” Trilogy is fundamental reading when it comes to the Civil Rights Movement in this country.

And, like other graphic novels before it, I want to address the artwork in this series. Because it is beautiful in it’s simplicity, and yet powerful in it’s design. It’s all black and white, and stark and striking on every page. Nate Powell brings the story to life on the page, and he did it both with bits of humor to go along with the hope, horror, and courage. There were bits of realism to accompany the distinct style, but it always felt very tangible and very authentic. As I mentioned before, the illustrations do not gloss over the violence that was prevalent during the time, and while it certainly is disturbing, it’s done in a way that could never be dismissed as exploitative or ‘over the top’. It is incredibly honest and upsetting, but it needs to be. The reader needs to be upset and outraged by it. Because it IS upsetting, and it is outrageous.

I cannot stress enough how important the “March”Trilogy is in these uncertain and scary times. John Lewis is a treasure and an inspiration, and I feel that this is required reading. Get this in schools, get this in curriculums, get this in peoples hands. And you, you should likewise go out and get your hands on this series. You will not regret it. You will learn something. And you will be moved. Thank you, John Lewis. Thank you for so much.
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LibraryThing member mamzel
Conclusion of the story told by Congressman John Lewis about his part in the civil rights movement from the desegregation of lunch counters to ensuring that all blacks were able to register to vote.
LibraryThing member Carmenere
With fortitude, intelligence, focus and love, John Lewis and associates continue the arduous fight for the right to vote, the right to be counted as a fully endowed United States citizen. That desire was often times met with jail time, violence and murder yet they persevered until the eyes of a
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nation and its government saw the point of their struggle and the need for a resolution. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member EllsbethB
Congressman Lewis, Aydin, and Powell are a good team. In the conclusion of the March series, you are put right in the action in Selma and other important Civil Rights events. The detail in Lewis's telling is educational. Powell's art is engaging and an important element of this story. I'm excited
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to use this book with students.
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LibraryThing member m.belljackson
BOOK THREE is as chilling and compelling as John Lewis' first two books with the South again revealed in its deepest
horror since slavery and the end of Reconstruction.

So much fear, so many murders and assassinations, and yet, still, defying belief, hope.
LibraryThing member bell7
The third part of John Lewis's story begins with the Birmingham bombing that killed four young girls in 1963 and the aftermath.

The frame of Obama's inauguration day with Lewis's memories of the civil rights movement in the 1960s is effectively done in these graphic novels, with black and white
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illustrations enhancing the story. Lewis doesn't shy away from describing different leaders' disagreements and points of view, and shows admiration for many even when they didn't agree with his own ideal of nonviolence. The story is by turns heartbreaking and inspiring, and I highly recommend it for teen and adult readers interested in the topic.
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LibraryThing member jessibud2
I have finished all three books in the John Lewis graphic novel trilogy March. It's so difficult to find words to express what still seems beyond belief, though that perhaps says more about the naivete of privilege and time removed from those days, than it does about the work itself. I know, of
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course, in the same way we all *know* that prejudice, segregation and hatred are ugly, ignorant and despicable, and truly a shameful part of human nature. I am relatively new to the genre of graphic novels, and I have to say, I found this one, at least, to be very powerful. I am queasy when it comes to seeing violence on film and I deliberately don't go to movies if I know there is excessive violence (which, of course, eliminates many, if not most, for me as that seems to be what sells, these days). I just don't find violence to be *entertainment* and will not spend my money on it. Ok, off my soap box, for that. But reading books with text alone, I realize, makes it a bit too easy to skip over the rough spots, especially when there is an important story to tell. While this graphic novel didn't spare the reader, I found it to be just the right balance of visual and verbal, and I appreciated that.

I will use the excuse that I am not American, to maybe explain why John Lewis is a name I had never heard before this trilogy came onto my radar, thanks to LT. I would like to think that his name and his life ought to be at least as well-known as many of the other major players in the Civil Rights movement. I am soooo happy that he lived to witness Barack Obama in the White House. But it just makes me all the more sad (and enraged, if I am honest) that he (and all of us) had to witness what followed. It seems very much like a giant step backward and that has to be so very discouraging.

I highly recommend this trilogy to any who have not yet experienced it.
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LibraryThing member asomers
This should be required reading.... for everyone!
LibraryThing member foggidawn
This final volume of the March trilogy begins with the emotional gut punch of the church bombing in Birmingham, and goes through events leading up to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including the march from Selma to Montgomery.

This third book really is the weightiest of the series,
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and not just in terms of page count. As I read, I found myself wondering if I would have had that kind of courage in the face of beatings and imprisonment, under threat of death. I highly recommend these books to everyone. The accolades they have received are well-deserved.
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LibraryThing member MaowangVater
The concluding volume of Congressman Lewis’s graphic memoir of the Civil Rights movement begins with the Birmingham church bombing of September 1964 and the following murders of civil rights demonstrators by white teenagers and the police. Then moves to more demonstrations and voter registration
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drives in Mississippi and Alabama. During this time Lewis, then the chair of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is in and out of jail, repeatedly arrested, and sometimes severely beaten.

Meanwhile the political consensus of his own group was splintering. A reprieve from the strife came from singer Harry Belafonte. He “invited a delegation from SNCC to accompany him on a three-week trip to Africa to speak to young people and share ideas about what we were doing in the American South.” Lewis and the rest of the party had a chance to talk with African leaders in a time when European Colonies were becoming self-governing nations. It was also on this trip that he had an unexpected meeting with Malcolm X soon after the Muslim leader had left the Nation of Islam.

Returning from Africa Lewis went to Selma, to be a leader in the first attempt to march to Montgomery, which lands him in the hospital with a head wound. He recovers to join the successful march that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This is a book of powerful words and powerful deeds, a monument to the struggles and achievement of the past. But it also includes reminders of how to face the present. When the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party convened in Jackson in August 1964, it was three days after the bodies of murdered organizers Mickey Schwerner, Andy Goodwin, and James Chaney were unearthed by the FBI. Keynote speaker and SNCC organizer Ella Baker addressed the convention with these words: “Until the killing of black mothers’ sons is as important as the killing of white mothers’ sons we much keep on.”
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LibraryThing member Starla_Aurora
I love, love, LOVE these books. Thank you John Lewis.
LibraryThing member -Eva-
Autobiographical black-and-white graphic novel about the Civil Rights Movement, told through the eyes of civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis. I've seen Lewis on the news, but I really didn't know what exactly was his part in the movement - I will now listen even more intently
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whenever I see him. Extremely interesting story at the same time as being an important historical document that should be read by everyone living in the US, as well as everyone else.
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LibraryThing member BillieBook
I just don't have words. The work that Congressman Lewis and his colleagues did was, and still is, so very, very important. Between gerrymandering and draconian voter registration laws— not to mention the murder of black people by people in authority and the attempts to suppress speech and
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assembly—it feels like we're sliding...right...on...back. We're living in a time when this story is more important to be told and remembered than ever. And, to be honest, it breaks my heart that Congressman Lewis (and Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell) created this beautiful testimony during a time of hope, when we were blessed with our first black President (which must have felt like the culmination of all that Congressman Lewis had been working toward) and that things have regressed so much since then.
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LibraryThing member DarthDeverell
In March: Book Three John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell conclude the story of John Lewis' activism in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, focusing on Freedom Summer and voter registration efforts that culminated in the March from Selma to Montgomery Alabama, as teased in the
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first volume, and the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Crucially, Lewis makes clear that that landmark piece of legislation did not end the struggle or the suffering, but was the end of his involvement in SNCC and the goals for which he'd joined. This volume relies the most on archival material to fill in the gaps between Lewis and the various Civil Rights groups' actions and those of the federal and state governments. It includes references to now declassified material from COINTELPRO and President Lyndon Johnson's phone transcripts. Like the other two volumes, Lewis uses the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009 as a framing device in order to juxtapose the brutality with a sense of hope, that SNCC members' suffering was worth it. Also like the first volume, Powell's art conveys the emotions Lewis experienced in his youth and the horrors he witnessed far better than simple prose could.
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LibraryThing member lavaturtle
A solid conclusion to this series, taking us through the passage of the Voting Rights Act. I learned a lot. I would definitely recommend March to anyone who wants to understand more about the Civil Rights Movement.
LibraryThing member ASKelmore
Best for: Anyone who thinks we don’t still need the voting rights act.

In a nutshell: This is the final – and longest – of three graphic novels about the life of John Lewis. It covers the mid-60s, culminating in the march from Selma to Montgomery and the passing of the voting rights act.

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that sticks with me: “In Mississippi that summer we suffered more than 1000 arrests, 80 beatings, 35 shootings, 35 church burnings, and 30 bombings.”

Why I chose it: Because the first two books were great and I wanted to learn more.

Review: This final book covers a lot of ground, starting with a church bombing that killed four little girls, through voter registration drives that were accompanied by murders, and a peaceful march that ended up dubbed Bloody Sunday thanks to the vicious actions of the police.

It’s a rough read, but a critical one. I learned so much in the 250 pages, including more detail on some events that I had vaguely heard about previously. For example, I knew that the 1964 Democratic National Convention was contentious, but I didn’t know any of the details. It was so impressive to read about the very deliberate attempts to get the voices of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party heard.

Reading about the people who stood in line all day, not allowed to leave to drink water or use the bathroom, only to not be allowed to register to vote – or to be ‘allowed’ but then face ridiculously complicated literacy tests – was infuriating. Then to read about the passing of the voting rights act, and the triumph it was, only to be reminded about how the Supreme Court gutted it recently, leading to voter suppression during this most recent election. It’s like 20 steps forward, 19 steps back (forty years later).

Friday is going to happen, and some people will refer to the PEOTUS as President. Anyone who finds that deplorable but isn’t as well-educated on the past as they should be (like me) would be well advised to read this series to recognize what the fight for rights can look like.
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LibraryThing member lissabeth21
First person accounts of history are often moving and motivating. But nothing I've read comes close to this. John Lewis wasn't just there at the time; he is the history maker. His leadership and involvement were paramount and he is the only member of the Big Six still living to record the
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happenings during that time. Powerful and inspiring, all oppressed peoples will continue to fight and look at magnificent examples like John Lewis for guidance.
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LibraryThing member chavala
So. Very. Good. The whole trilogy is highly recommended.

This graphic novel series recounts civil rights leader and US Representative John Lewis' childhood and involvement in the civil rights movement, from restaurant sit-ins in Nashville all the way to Selma and the passage of the 1965 Voting
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Rights Act. This moving personal and societal history is framed as memories coming to him on the day of President Obama's inauguration in January 2009.

The courage these people had, it takes my breath away. To know you could be jailed, beaten, or killed. To have your compatriots murdered worked with your cause and for your organization. To face government and police and county registrars actively, loudly, and proudly - and unlawfully - refusing to allow you to register to vote, to peacefully assemble; who would stop at nothing to prevent having to share power. In the face of that, to stand up again and again to march and protest, all for the right to vote. These folks are American heroes.

Using the graphic format - stark black and white - was powerful. The artist did an amazing job. An example: the bleak night-of-the-soul moments, where text was white against a mostly black page, the words dripping away into silence. Or the showing the movement of an arm holding a billy club arcing across the page - linear format fallen by the wayside - as it descended towards someone's head.

I was especially moved by stories around the passage of the Voting Rights Act in volume 3 and the quotes from President Johnson's speeches of the time. (This was also my reaction to the movie Selma; also highly recommended). The right to vote, the ability to vote, is the true cornerstone of democracy. African-Americans had that legal right in the US for 100 years at the time of the Civil Rights movement, but most did not have the ability, and systemic forces were bent on keeping that racist status quo for 100 years.

So far we've come and also so far back we've slid. The fierce fight for the right to vote - that people gave their lives for - that right has been chipped away at in so many states (and so many from the South!) that want to suppress some categories of voters, and by the Supreme Court as well. Those 100 years of Jim Crow and voter suppression live on in new waves of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. And, just like elections when people of color were prevented from registering to vote, elections today are putting people who historically had a lot of power into elected office and silencing the voice of true democracy.

This trilogy is a great way to learn about - or teach - this important part of American history, and the lessons it has for us today.
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National Book Award (Finalist — Young People's Literature — 2016)
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (Nonfiction — 2016)
LA Times Book Prize (Finalist — Young Adult Literature — 2016)
Eisner Award (Nominee — 2017)
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2018)




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