“History tells us that we must never ever give up. That we must never ever give in or give out. That we must not get lost in a sea of despair. That we must all keep the faith. That we must keep our eyes on the prize.” - John Lewis, U.S. Congressman & Civil Rights Leader
The 2015-2016 GPC Reads selection is a powerful book and an experience in courage, hope and endless tenacity. GPC Reads is honored to bring the community March: Book One written by Civil Rights icon Congressman John Lewis with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. Presented in graphic novel format, March provides a poignant and unique look inside the life of Congressman Lewis. At a very young age, Lewis was inspired by the events of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a young man, he made the decision to be an active part of the history changing Civil Rights Movement.
In March: Book One, readers are introduced to Lewis’s early life in Alabama and his experiences at the start of the movement. As a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Lewis organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and volunteered to participate in Freedom Rides which challenged segregation at bus terminals across the south. Lewis risked his life many times during rides, marches, and sit-ins. He was spit on, yelled at, and beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested on numerous occasions by police for challenging the injustices of Jim Crow segregation in the South.
John Lewis became Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1963. SNCC was responsible for organizing student activism in the Movement including sit-ins and many other non-violent activities. On March 7, 1965, while chairman of SNCC, Lewis helped lead the infamous “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma, Alabama. Lewis’s recollection of Selma vividly introduces March: Book One. See a selection of Lewis’s testimony and pictures of the violent police reaction at this National Archives website.
GPC Reads is thrilled to host a discussion of March with Congressman Lewis & co-author Andrew Aydin at Georgia Perimeter College’s Clarkston Campus Cole Auditorium on Thursday, September 3, 2015: 11:30 – 1:00pm. The presentation is free and open to the public. A book signing and reception will follow.
Copies of March: Book One are available at GPC campus libraries. Please check the GIL Find- Book Catalog for current availability.
For more background information and related resources about Congressman Lewis and the Civil Rights Movement please see the library’s Research Guide.
Ellen Barrow, Assistant Professor, Library Services, Clarkston Campus