March: Book One - book cover
Community & Culture
  • Publisher : Top Shelf Productions; 1st edition
  • Published : 13 Aug 2013
  • Pages : 128
  • ISBN-10 : 1603093001
  • ISBN-13 : 9781603093002
  • Language : English

March: Book One

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. 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, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

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 John 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.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Editorial Reviews

"An astonishingly accomplished graphic memoir that brings to life a vivid portrait of the civil rights era, Lewis' extraordinary history and accomplishments, and the movement he helped lead... its power, accessibility and artistry destine it for awards, and a well-deserved place at the pinnacle of the comics canon." - NPR

"Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I'm so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America's young leaders. In March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands." - President Bill Clinton

"Superbly told history." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Dazzling... a grand work." - Booklist (starred review)

"Lewis's remarkable life has been skillfully translated into graphics... Segregation's insult to personhood comes across here with a visual, visceral punch. This version of Lewis's life story belongs in libraries to teach readers about the heroes of America." - Library Journal (starred review)

"A powerful tale of courage and principle igniting sweeping social change, told by a strong-minded, uniquely qualified eyewitness... the heroism of those who sat and marched... comes through with vivid, inspiring clarity." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Readers Top Reviews

Emi BevacquaLucy Rya
I love that John Lewis was inspired by a comic book based on Martin Luther King's quest for civil rights, and have no doubt that March will go on to galvanize future leaders making gains in social justice as well. This book truly is on par with Maus and Persepolis for historical accuracy, unflinching realism, and cultural ethos. Both my 12-yr olds agree with me.
Kelly A19
A unique, timeless, way to tell the story of the Civil Rights Era from a personal perspective. The graphic art makes Mr Lewis’ story accessible to all, of every age group, but it still has the sane emotional clout as if he’d written it out in longhand. It’s a brilliant way to share his story. My one complaint is that some of the writing is illegible - possibly deliberately, but it is still annoying.
Rosemary Standeven
The first book in a trilogy about the part of Congressman John Lewis in the Civil Rights movement. It begins as the congressman is about to attend Obama’s inauguration, but has time to speak to the children of some of his constituents, to whom he relates how he became involved in politics. The story is very personal, putting a human face on the appalling treatment meted out to black Americans, and showing why the Civil Rights movement was so necessary. The movement’s policy of non-violent action comes across so well in this graphic novel, as the calm, polite faces of the protesters contrast greatly with the anguished faces of the ladies behind the segregated lunch counters and the aggression of the white thugs, police and politicians. I admire so much, the non-violent sit-ins and boycotts by the young students. I doubt I would ever have had the strength of character to not react when abused and beaten. With Obama’s election, it must have seemed that the fight for Black equality was won. Unfortunately, a further movement: “Black Lives Matter” was still needed. And then came Trump, setting all anti-racism and anti-misogyny gains of the past 50 year back decades. This is an excellent addition to the literature about the Black Rights movements in the USA, and would be a perfect introduction for teenagers – as well as for adults.
Mike Nemeth
About midway through Melinda Leigh's 30th book, "Drown Her Sorrows," protagonist Sheriff Bree Taggert goes on camera with the local reporter at a crime scene while bleeding noticeably from an injury sustained just minutes earlier. (Spoiler alert: It was only a flesh wound.) The scene is indicative of the character Leigh's built over the course of three novels. She's tough, driven and sensible enough to know that she should take it easy after visiting the hospital. The plot begins with a dead body found by a bridge. It appears to be suicide. But Leigh's not into simple mysteries, and this one has several twists. The ending actually accelerates the story to freeway speed. Bree's also getting more used to her civilian investigator, Matt. She isn't all work and no play. Somewhat, anyway. Her domestic side, if that's possible for a woman so invested in tracking murderers, gets explored, and Leigh toys with elevating her relationship with Matt. I got more into this dimension of the book than I suppose I should, wondering how he would fit in with her extended family. The problem with my reading any of Leigh's books, and I've read more than a few, is that after consuming a couple in a matter of days, there's a bit of a letdown. "What should I read now?"
"March: Book One", the first book of a trilogy in the graphic novel format, is a tantalizing account of, “The United States Civil Rights Movement”, as seen through the eyes of United States Congressmen John Lewis. Written by Lewis and his co-writer Andrew Aydin, with illustrations by Nate Powell, this autobiographical memoir delivers to the reader an acute awareness of the unjust trials and tribulations forced upon Black Americans by White Americans during this not so distant era in American history. Currently, it is difficult to fathom what it was like to be a Black American living under the dark hateful and ominous cloud of segregation. Most young Americans of todays generation have little to no knowledge of this oppressive ideology and hierarchy of racial bias that was widely accepted as the norm. Even those Americans familiar with this period sometimes view these acts of injustice as memories that should be forgotten or no longer discussed. This is a faulty misconception in that a more thorough understanding of race relations in this country will never be fully attained unless we as a society actively confront this shameful time period in our history with compassion and respect. "March: Book One", can be used as a vehicle to bring about this understanding. This autobiographical memoir is an emotional visual rendering of historical significance that follows Lewis' life from his very humble farming beginnings, to his college years whereby he fought for basic human rights not given Blacks due to social segregation based on racial discrimination. It also follows his present day life as a U.S. Congressman while preparing for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. It provides the viewer a look into the pivotal role he played in abrogating the atrocities of segregation through measures of non-violent resistance, although he and many others were violently attacked by those intent on keeping things the same. These events are masterly interwoven to form a very enjoyable reading/viewing experience. Lewis and Aydin's astutely written text transports the reader back to these moments; arduously unjust moments that can only be accurately written by a person who actually lived through them. Powell's mesmerizing illustrations show Lewis and a number of heroic figures as they organized marches, protests, and student sit-ins at, “White Only”, restaurants that more often times than not led to their arrests. Powell also masterfully used varying shading techniques and brush strokes that brilliantly rendered a tension filled atmosphere befitting Lewis and Aydin's accompanying text. “March: Book One", by Lewis, Aydin, and Powell is an invaluable lesson for any society interested in achieving deep-rooted social change in the face of discrimination and segregation as based on racial biases. As a lover of American history and avid grap...

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