Lionized human rights advocate, civil rights leader and esteemed Congressman John Lewis chronicled his role in the transcendent, history-altering Civil Rights Movement and the iconic March on Washington through the stunning graphic portrayal of those turbulent yet immensely rewarding days in March: Book One.
He hosted a live Facebook chat on Monday, Sept. 22 with his supporters and fans, who were able to remotely ask the gentle giant of a man questions about what motivated him to do what he did, even against his parents admonishments to not get into trouble.
Lewis helped plan the March as a member of the Big Six that included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and on the eve of the historic day’s 50th anniversary, he’s collaborated with his staffer Andrew Aydin to write March, a graphic memoir that makes civil rights era jump off the page and also details Lewis’ extraordinary history and accomplishments, and the extraordinary valor he exemplified in the face of almost-certain death.
Lewis’ March commences by yanking you back emotionally to the frightening and horrific episode on the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Montgomery, Ala., immortalized in the American history books as “Bloody Sunday” as vengeful, vindictive police attacked peaceful, prayerful civil rights protesters with malice in their hearts.
Lewis, the offspring of sharecroppers in Pike County, Ala., to becoming the leader of the Nashville sit-ins and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to congressional leader and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, also propels us forward in March: Book 1 to Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Take a look at some of the Q&A from Rep. Lewis’ live Facebook chat:
Krista Kobeski Congressman Lewis, what is the most important lesson that we can take from this book which will help lead our world into a peaceful future?
John Lewis This book, a graphic novel March book 1, and there will be book 2 and book 3 tell us, all of us, the very young, that we have an obligation, a mission, and a mandate to do what we can to leave this planet a little more peaceful, a little greener, a little more respectful, and a little more human. As Dr. King said, “You must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we will perish as fools.” And to put it another way, it’s non violence or non existience. They tell us, March tell us that hate is too heavy a burden to bear. The way of love is a much better way.