January 16, 2017

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This week is a great time to revisit March and Representative John Lewis' amazing story (Weekend Pattering extra)


As we begin the inauguration week of our 45th President of the United States, it begins as most of the past weeks have with controversy and division.  Last week, Representative John Lewis, a hero of our Civil Rights movement, announced on Meet The Press that he was not going to attend President-Elect Trump's inauguration because the news of the Russian interference in our election has caused him to question the legitimacy of the President.



And you know that once this news broke, it was only a matter of time before the President-Elect responded on Twitter.  Not one to disappoint, Trump tweeted about Lewis, "All talk, talk, talk — no action or results."

Amazingly, there's the wonderful and recently autobiographical March that helps to show Lewis' actions and his results.  Along with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, Lewis recounts his youth in the 1960s as he non-violently fought for the right of black people in Alabama to be able to exercise their right to vote.

Since it's debut in 2013, we've covered all three volumes of March.

Writing about Book One, Rob McMonigal said:
Lewis describes in detail his path to a non-violent protester, starting with being inspired by a speech from Jim Lawson to learning how to resist attackers without attacking back. As the book nears its climax, Lewis is involved in trying to integrate the lunch counters in Nashville. It's slow, painful work, and not everyone within the African American community is solidly behind the methods of Lewis and his fellow protesters. The book ends on a note of hope, as Nashville gives in, and the tide of progress moves one step closer to the shore.
For Book 2, I talked about how Lewis, Aydin and Powell framed the story around President Obama's first inauguration.
That aftermath of the attack in 1961 is woven together with Obama’s 2009 inauguration when Aretha Franklin sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and Powell fills a double-page spread with images from both time periods and it’s just a stunning moment in a book filled with many breath-taking images. Here’s this powerful woman singing, “Long may our land be bright, with freedom’s holy light, protect us by thy might, oh let freedom ring!” and while we’re taking in that glorious moment, Lewis, Aydin and Powell show us just a glimpse of what that “freedom’s holy light” was built on. Aretha sings in 2009 and in 1961 look at the blood on their hands and in the streets, each dealing with their actions in their own ways. Some are proud and others are shocked by what they’ve done. 
Book 3 debuted just last year and in my review, I concluded about it (and really the whole series,

March Book 3 isn’t a history lesson; it’s a lesson of us and who we are. The events of the early 1960s don’t feel that long in the past because of the division between Americans then, unfortunately, is not that different than the division that exists today. We’ve seen black men killed in 2016 and we’ve seen the protests, the violence and the heartfelt pain that follows. The events in March Book 3 may as well have been 50 days ago or 50 months ago as much as they were 50 years ago. Representative John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell’s book shows us the past but is really about the present, reminding us that as a country and a people we still have a long way to go to truly be a nation that understands that all men are created equally and have unalienable rights, including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
If you believe in the President-Elect's tweet that Lewis is "all talk" and has "no results," I urge you to read all three parts of March.  Comixology has all three available digitally relatively inexpensively and you can sample it with a 2016 Free Comic Book Day issue which has excerpts from all three volumes of this fantastic book.