The Civil Rights Movement transformed the United States in ways so fundamental it’s difficult for many to conceive that this nation once tolerated, and even encouraged, state-sanctioned discrimination. Rights that all Americans take for granted were bitterly contested just a few decades ago, and without the courage and fortitude of a handful of individuals American society might be profoundly different. John Robert Lewis was one of those unlikely heroes that fought non-violently to make the United States a more just society.
Congressman Lewis, the former leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was the youngest speaker at 1963′s March on Washington. Today Lewis, 73, is the elder statesmen of movement, the only person who delivered remarks at the Lincoln Memorial still living. Lewis brings his amazing story to a new generation with the publication of MARCH (Book One) the first part of a trilogy from Top Shelf Productions that will trace Lewis’ life from rural Alabama to the halls of power in Washington D.C.
MARCH, a collaboration between Lewis, longtime aide Andrew Aydin, and illustrator Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), follows Lewis from his boyhood as the son of tenant farmers to his participation in Nashville’s successful sit-in campaign to desegregate restaurants and lunch counters. MARCH offers a poignant portrait of an iconic figure that both entertains and edifies, and deserves to be placed alongside other historical graphic memoirs like Persepolis and MAUS.
We sat down with Rep. Lewis and Andrew Aydin to talk about the publication of the book one of MARCH. READ FULL STORY