2018 One Book, One San Diego
About the Author
John Lewis is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th district and an American icon known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement. He participated in the 1960 Nashville sit-ins and was one of the original Freedom Riders, challenging illegal segregation at bus stations across the South. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he became one of the “Big Six” leaders of the national movement and was the youngest featured speaker at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He then played major roles in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project and the voting rights campaign in Selma, Alabama, culminating in the landmark “Bloody Sunday” March, where police brutality spurred national outrage and hastened passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Despite physical attacks, serious injuries, and more than 40 arrests, John Lewis has remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. His subsequent career has included voter registration activism, service on the Atlanta City Council, and over 25 years in Congress. Lewis was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011 and was the first recipient of the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, John Lewis mentioned to his aide Andrew Aydin the 1957 comic book Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story and the role it played in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Recognizing the potential for a comic on Lewis' life to inspire young people, Aydin convinced Lewis to write a graphic memoir about his time in the movement. Drawn by artist Nate Powell, the March trilogy became a smash hit, occupying #1, 2, and 3 on the New York Times Bestseller List, and has rapidly entered the curriculum in America's largest school systems and universities. In 2016, March broke several records, becoming the first graphic novel ever to win the National Book Award and receiving four of the American Library Association’s major awards for youth literature, more than any book in history. The words and images of March bring to life the story of John Lewis, the courage of young people, and the power of nonviolence — making them accessible and urgently relevant to new generations.
About the Book
This graphic novel is Congressman John Lewis' first-hand account of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a climax on the steps of City Hall. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington D.C., and from receiving beatings from state troopers, to receiving the Medal of Freedom awarded to him by Barack Obama, the first African-American president.
Timeline(s) of Civil Rights and the Civil Rights Movement
One Book Events
October 25, 2018 @ 4 PM
Join the Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library for a special contextualized discussion of the 2018 One Book, One San Diego selection, March: Book One, by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. This introductory discussion will be contextualized with LGBTQIA History Month in mind and is part of celebratory activities for all ages that include a scavenger hunt, button making, a Community Quilt project with the San Diego History Center, and a history of LGBTQIA marches in San Diego presentation from Walter Meyer of the Lambda Archives.