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John Lewis Continues His Civil Rights Journey With “March: Book Two”

It’s been two years since the comic universe embraced Congressman John Lewis for March: Book One (Top Shelf), the first installment of his autobiographic graphic novel trilogy chronicling his volatile journey from a poor childhood in the Jim Crow South to civil rights leader.

(L-R) John Lewis, Nate Powell, and Andrew Aydin on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the March 7, 1965, Bloody Sunday conflict, where police brutalized peaceful civil rights demonstrators.Photo by Sandi Villarreal

In that time, Lewis, often with co-author Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell, appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Colbert Report, and the Rachel Maddow Show, among others, while the book spent 40 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, won a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and Coretta Scott King Award, and was nominated for an Eisner Award. Schools have used it as a way to introduce students to a turbulent time in American history and its relevance today. Actor Stephan James played Lewis in the movie Selma.

Now with March: Book Two, Lewis, Aydin, and Powell take readers on the dangerous journey from the 1960 lunch-counter sit-ins through the brutality of the 1961 Freedom Rides and 1963 March on Washington, where, at 23, Lewis was the youngest, and now, turning 75 this month, the only surviving speaker.

Check the slide show for a sneak peak at some of March’s artwork, and the following related media, out this month:

  • Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People—PBS, February 16 —explores photography’s role in shaping African American identity, aspirations, and social emergence.
  • American Denial—PBS, February 23—explores why a society that cherishes freedom and fairness creates racial oppression. (Check local listings for both documentaries.)
  • Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding (Atria Books)

SK