On January 20th 2017, the world will be introduced to Donald J.
Drumpf Trump as President of The United States. Still doesn’t sound or feel right as I type this. Despite how hard it is to fathom this change in dynamic from a hope driven charismatic Barack Obama to a short tempered hate monger but also charismatic in his own way business man, we all have to accept this reality. Some are doing it with grace while others… not so much. That brings us to Congressman John Lewis whose decades of service shows that he’s never been one to hold his tongue especially in the face of social issues. The civil rights leader recently called Trump’s upcoming presidency illegitimate which sparked his opponent’s to strike back saying his activism and years in office was a farce and “all talk”. They’ve been going back and forth since.
To be quite honest, like most people, I didn’t know who John Lewis was until I became an adult. Although he is a prominent black leader, he wasn’t talked about much when I was in school. I mean they only give you 28 days a year to fit black history into the course curriculum. He wasn’t the guy you did your Black History Month report on nor did he have big posters of his likeness with his famous quotes etched across in big bold letters to inspire you, but he should’ve. John Lewis and what he did to help end segregation in the south should be talked about right along with Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and so on.
I mentioned before not knowing about this great man until I was older and thats because politics don’t really interest children and teens. The election of 2008 is when I began to notice. Not only did I want to know more about Barack Obama but there were all these other black leaders coming out to support him. John Lewis was one. So I started reading and researching from Wiki to biographies and none of those avenues were able to capture my attention. Fast forward to 2013, just after Barack Obama’s second inauguration, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell came together to tell Congressman Lewis’ story thru the art of comic which was right up my alley.
March tells the story of John Lewis from childhood to his start as an activist as a teenager. It illustrates his struggles with his parents not approving of him going into social activism and how he was a part of the first sit-ins in Nashville, the Freedom Riders and the marches on Washington and Selma just to name a few. He stood side by side with some of the most well known civil rights leaders of the era and this series of books tell that story flawlessly. It is broken down into 3 books in chronological order. The illustration are powerful and sometimes the language can be a bit graphic (the N-word is used a lot) but it’s ok for kids to read. This is a great way to introduce the youth to someone I doubt they’ll hear about in February. Overall I give this series a 4.5/5 only because at times the dialogue can be confusing. They add a lot of unnecessary chatter around the actual dialogue boxes.