March, Books 1, 2, & 3

March-Books-1-3-covers-e1484776569530-450x219March, Books 1, 2, & 3

By: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

March is probably the best graphic novel series I’ve ever read. It’s devastating and uplifting at the same time, but in this dichotomy we can see the continuing story of the civil rights movement – the struggles, setbacks, disagreements, hard work, and triumphs.

Lewis is a Congressman from Georgia, and was one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders. Lewis was born to poor sharecroppers in Alabama, but was able to attend college, where he became heavily involved in the leadership of the civil rights movement. He was arrested more than 40 times for nonviolent protests, and has been brutally beaten. March details many of the defining moments Lewis was involved in: sit-ins in Nashville, the Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, and culminating in the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to protest voter discrimination in Alabama. We also catch glimpses of the politics of the movement and toll it took on those involved.

March: Book Three was the first graphic novel to win a National Book Award, and Lewis’s story is told in this format because he was influenced at a young age by a comic book about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nonviolent resistance. Issued in 1957, the comic was produced by Al Capp’s studio at no charge. While graphic novels aren’t to everyone’s taste, the format is perfect for this story, creating a sense of action and illustrating just who these historical figures were.

Review By:  Julia Welzen