Alternating between Inauguration Day 2009 and the 1960s, John Lewis, along with co-author Andrew Aydin and Illustrator Nate Powell, tell the story of the civil rights movement through three powerful graphic novels. The trilogy – “March” – follows Lewis from his childhood growing up on a farm in Alabama through his increasing inspiration and involvement in the civil rights movement. Through the stories of protests, sit-ins, the Freedom Ride, the March on Washington, and the signing of the Voting Rights Act, Lewis makes this legendary struggle palpably real and persuasively relevant.
The “March” trilogy is easily accessible and yet undoubtedly powerful. Its illustrations are stark and evocative; its words are sparse and moving. Each panel advances this gut-wrenching story in a way that makes it clear – this is not just a history lesson. It is a plea for remembrance and a call to action. Published between 2013 and 2016, these novels are timely and timeless. On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, days before an inauguration ceremony from which Rep. John Lewis chooses to abstain, I felt honored to have the chance to take these books in, to wander their pages, and to feel filled with their promise.