March: Book Two (March #2)
Author: John Lewis
Rated D for deadly iconic footsteps that carved a path through history with its fire and protest.
After success with the sit-in, John Lewis grew more committed than ever for change. He was determined to do it through nonviolence. He shared his ways with others and helped to create the Freedom Riders. Inspired by Rosa Parks, they rode on bused but down to the heart of the deep south where they would also work to desegregate bathrooms. Faced with several acts of violence such as beating, police brutality and arson, John and his fellow activists faced a struggle within their own ranks as well. With words of encouragement and dissuasion coming at John from both sides and gaining notice from powerful allies such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, John held onto his beliefs and gained the national spotlight when he became one of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement.
March is 1 of 4 graphic novel series that I’m doing for my New Year’s Resolution.
This installation to the March trilogy was outstanding! Heart-pounding and revolutionary. While the first book covered the ground of John’s youth, this one dove into action with his part in fighting for rights and justice for Black people. In so many ways it was more powerful—positively and negatively. So many were rising up to fight for black people’s rights and to understand more deeply how they could help and they were turning to John for guidance. Still, the violence against black people who sought equality increased so much so that it cost people their livelihood and their lives.
Not trying to play the comparison game, I couldn’t help it. I had to wonder how book two would be to book one. It went to the next level in every way. John’s words held so much weigh tas he told his story and the story that others shared. The illustrator gave life to his words and neither of them sugar-coated the way America truly treated this fight and those in it. The Freedom Rides was one of the main storylines during this book. From one of the buses being bombed and another being surrounded by the KKK all the while political corruption threatened to keep those in the movement from reaching their goals, it was terrifying to see even more of what so many went through and still do. To live life in such fear of those who you should be able to live in peace with makes me both horrified and beyond pissed off. These powerful emotions only escalated when it was shared that children were being targeted amidst the protests as well. Elementary kids that only wanted a brighter future and couldn’t imagine they’d be brutalized with full-powered fire hoses.
“In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod the earth, I draw the line in the dust, and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny. And I say…Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” – 45th Governor Wallace, p. 124-125
This is a must read. While it shows how far America has since this point in history it also shows that we still have a long way to go. This is a part of our history. This is a part of how we can continue changing for the better of the future. And utilizing the graphic novel format to give life to this memoir gives everyone a lot that they don’t teach in school.
Still a spectacular read and one I keep telling people to read. Phenomenal story-telling, especially about a time in history that people still keep trying to brush under a rug as if didn’t happen, as if it still isn’t happening. It’s enlightening and uncomfortable as it should be. This isn’t just a look back but a show of what still happens today. The civil rights movement went into full swing and it was only the beginning. I look forward to completing this trilogy and sharing it.
More to come soon…
Song Today? Read All About It,Pt. III by Emeli Sande.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!