Pages: Book 1 (128 pages), Book 2 (192 pages), Book 3 (246 pages)
Published: Book 1 (August 13, 2013), Book 2 (January 13, 2015), Book 3 (August 2, 2016)
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Genre: Nonfiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Graphic Novels
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).
There are not that many nonfiction graphic novels that both take my breath away and captivate me at the same time. I am so glad that this was the book to do so.
This was the best nonfiction graphic novel I have ever read. I was just so drawn into the story. Narrative nonfiction is just simply the best. It truly makes the past come alive and Congressman John Lewis’s story is definitely a tale that needs to be flourishing. From this trilogy and Lewis’s first hand account, I learned more about the Civil Rights Movement, compared to what I was taught. I knew about the violence and the constant injustice African-Americans went through but to actually see it depicted and portrayed so vividly, really hit home for me. Lewis’s story was just as captivating as the amazing artwork. While reading these three volumes, I was constantly blown away by it. Nate Powell, combined with his imagination and amazing talent, created evocative images that leapt off the pages for me. The equilibrium of the words and pictures conveyed such a powerful story that needs to be told.
One of my favorite images comes from Book one, where Lewis comes face to face with Barack Obama on his Inauguration Day. That moment was not only touching but revolutionary and a history making moment for Lewis. I was so moved by Lewis’s joy. The struggle for equal rights was worth it, especially since it brought them to a moment they didn’t believe would be possible. Having Obama’s inauguration and Lewis’s past experiences made this story, I feel, more compelling. Their experience was not easy but what they went thorough and their struggles lead to this iconic moment. Seeing that emotion and happiness made the story more real to me and it actually made me realize how truly important the Civil Rights Movement was.
If you are trying to introduce a younger audience into important historical moments, this is definitely the series for them. American history likes to overlook the moments that tend not to place the country in a positive light and this memoir gives a true portrayal of how deep racism and bigotry can really go. It is also a great reminder of how we need to continue to educate ourselves about the past in order for us to have a sustainable and positive future.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars