[Hub reading challenge, Great Graphic Novels]
I was reluctant to read this graphic novel about civil rights, but am glad I did. I’ll admit right now that I didn’t recognize John Lewis’s name (prominent civil rights activist, U.S. Representative for Georgia, and author of this) though as I read his story I did know of the events. First of all, I’m completely impressed that an elderly man is down with telling his important story in graphic novel format. Nate Powell also did The Silence of Our Friends, which I read last year for the challenge, and had a similar response to. I thought that would have been a great book to use in U.S. history classes, and I think this would too. It’s so heartbreakingly powerful to read his first person point of view of being a young black man in the South in the 1950s. Lewis was instrumental in the lunch counter sit-ins and a speaker at the march on Washington, along with Martin Luther King, Jr. Note-this is book 1 and by the end the march still hasn’t occurred.
The structure of the book is that Lewis is getting ready to be seated at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 when some visitors come to his office. He begins to tell them all about how he grew up and found his passion for passive resistance and social justice and civil rights.
This is our country’s history and so important for everyone to know, and I found it so difficult to read about the flat out ignorance and terrible acts committed by civilians, the police, and the government-legally. It’s so shameful and hard for me to wrap my head around. This book got in my head and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I definitely recommend it.