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John Lewis: In Memoriam

March Trilogy by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

As stories and images emerge across the country of the memorial services for John Lewis, I thought it good to revisit the March Trilogy.

This set of graphic novels tells the story of John Lewis, civil rights leader, from his childhood in Troy, Alabama, through the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

These are a few of my takeaways:

  • Much of the story of the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s has striking parallels to the Black Lives Matter and related social movements of today.

  • The medium of the graphic novel is a powerful way to immerse yourself in the story.

  • Lewis was inspired by the social gospel while studying ministry in Nashville, Tennessee. This compelled him to get involved in the civil rights movement.

  • I had forgotten how much John Seigenthaler was involved in the story. Seigenthaler is from Nashville and a graduate of Father Ryan High School. He served as administrative assistant to Robert Kennedy when he was the United States Attorney General. In fact, March: Book Two was dedicated to his memory.

  • As I was reading, I felt immense gratitude for all those who gave their lives and careers to the work of promoting justice and human dignity.

O God, Give us the grace to know your will and the courage to do it.

March: Book Three, p. 173

March: Book Three, p. 173

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