March: Book Two

LEWIS, John & . 192p. Top Shelf Comics. Jan. 2015. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781603094009.
RedReviewStarGr 8 Up— In this second volume, representative Lewis continues describing his experiences with the civil rights movement. As in the first book, Lewis attends Barack Obama's inauguration, flashing back to his life as a young man taking part in the fight that would make it possible for America to eventually elect its first black president. Lewis lays out his involvement with sit-ins and the freedom rides, as well as becoming chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and speaking at the March on Washington in 1963, where he urged the crowd to "complete the revolution." Graphic in every sense of the word, this memoir puts a human face on a struggle that many students will primarily know from textbooks. Lewis makes it clear that the movement was far from a uniform entity, with disagreements cropping up, some small, such as differing opinions about the wording in speeches, others more serious, including whether to respond to resistance passively or with violence. Visually stunning, the black-and-white illustrations convey the emotions of this turbulent time, from Lewis's fear and pain while in prison to Governor George Wallace's sneering indifference during his "Segregation forever" speech. Powell's use of light and dark is masterly, and the contrast between the joy of Obama's inauguration and the obstacles faced back in the 1960s is effective. This insider's view of the civil rights movement should be required reading for young and old; not to be missed.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
In the graphic-memoir trilogy's second volume, dramatic descriptions and vivid black-and-white illustrations follow Lewis through direct action campaigns in Nashville, Freedom Rides into the Deep South, and his speech at the 1963 March on Washington. The account has the authority of a passionate participant; the pacing ramps up tension and historical import. A standout among the many excellent volumes on civil rights.

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