And Then I Read: MARCH BOOK TWO

Art by  Nate Powell, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin.

The middle volume of this trilogy follows John Lewis from 1960 to 1963 in his courageous participation in Civil Rights actions and events. As the movement grows, so does the violence and hatred of those opposed to it. Lewis was one of the Freedom Riders, volunteers taking integrated public buses into the deep South where they were met by angry mobs and equally hateful police and authorities. They were beaten, jailed, and humiliated, but Lewis and many of his fellows met the anger with passive resistance in the mode of Gandhi, and reports of the violence against them only drew more to the movement. John is soon among the leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, and this volume culminates at the March on Washington in 1963, scene of the famous “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. King. Lewis is the only one of the speakers at the event still living, and his memories and testament are made all the more harrowing and real in this treatment, an excellent example of the power of comics. Softening the grim elements are framing sections of Lewis in 2009 at the inauguration of Barack Obama, and the evidence that he made it through those difficult and dangerous times.

Highly recommended.

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