Today was congressman and activist John Lewis’ funeral. But, although a hero has died, his spirit won’t. We will always remember to get into “good trouble, necessary trouble.” We will always remember him, his empowering words, his kind and brave actions.
I thought that educating myself on his life would be a good way to remember him. I recently reviewed the first book in his award-winning graphic novel series called MARCH, and I just read the other two books, so I decided to write a little about them.
MARCH: Book Two expands on where the first book leaves off, at the restaurant sit-ins. Soon, John Lewis and his group started asking for movie tickets at whites-only restaurants. And, John Lewis also joins the Freedom Riders, people who would ride segregated buses and get a lot of violence in return.
I think this book was much more violent than the first one. I couldn’t even imagine how John Lewis must have been feeling during some scenes, including when his friend Bernard got hit with a brick in the head, and when he had to stay in a penitentiary.
Nate Powell did an amazing job with the illustrations. They were so detailed and vivid and some of them made me sad.
The first book used the N-word multiple times, but this book uses the N-word, S-word and the D-word. I wondered why the authors put in all of those bad words, but I think that John Lewis and Andrew Aydin really wanted to show the readers that this is truly what happened. They thought that kids should know the truth. This book was much more graphic than the first, so maybe read it with a parent, some of the content is for mature audiences.
Nevertheless, I really loved the message of hope that the book gave me, even when people would beat them up and lock them up and try to shut them up, still, people sang for freedom and justice.
MARCH: Book Three is the last installment. This book is mostIy about black people’s voting rights, and how John Lewis and others advocated to earn the right to vote. But, other incidents are sprinkIed in the book, including the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where four little black girls were killed.
One thing that happens throughout all of the books, is that a few times throughout the book, it transitions to 2009, a very sentimental year to John Lewis because the first black president was sworn in. In the first book, it flashed forward to him meeting some kids in his office before Barack Obama’s inauguration. In the next book, it was the beginning of President Obama’s inauguration ceremony, and in the last book, it elaborated on the inauguration, Obama spoke, and talked to John Lewis. I feel like the scenes were there to show that John Lewis’ dream for equality and freedom were coming true.
One funny thing about the series is that the books gradually get bigger! I finished the first one in about 20-30 minutes before bed, but when I read the second one with my mom, it took us several hours. The same with the third. The first book was 121 pages, Book Two was 179 pages and Book 3 was 246 pages.
This is a great trilogy for anyone who wants to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement. It’s for anyone who wants to know why we’re saying Black Lives Matter. It’s because people like John Lewis fought so hard for America to be equal, and were spit on and beaten in return. It’s sad John Lewis never fully got to see his dream, a dream for an equal, peaceful America.
I want to rate the series four billion roses, but I think my computer would crash. So it get four out of four.