"Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble." -John Lewis
On Friday, July 17, 2020, the world felt a little dimmer, as we lost Civil Rights leader and hero Congressman John Lewis. This was an immense loss that seemed to take away a light that shined so brightly, but we will always have this light. This light shines in the change that he helped take place, the change that will take place, and in our youth, who have bright, burning fires inside them. We are left with his legacy, his impact, and the March Trilogy which captures the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of Lewis.
These graphic novels, which are penned by Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, Lewis's powerful story is shared through black and white illustrations. Book One focuses on his early life in Alabama, his initial meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Nashville Student Movement's lunch counter sit-ins to battle segregation. Book Two continues with 23-year-old Lewis becoming one of the "Big Six" leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and the Freedom Riders' brave journey in the South. The final novel concludes the trilogy, following Lewis's fight to end voter suppression and the famous, revolutionizing march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
It is this Book Three that garnered numerous awards, including the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, 2017 Printz Award, 2017 Coretta Scott King Author Award, 2017 Sibert Medal, 2017 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, and 2017 Walter Award. Of course, it comes as no surprise that Lewis's story would evoke so much emotion and leave readers forever changed. It is a story that everyone, regardless of age or background, should know, celebrate, and never ever forget. Although Lewis has made the world a much better place for each of us, there is still so much work left to be done.
Through these graphic novels, we have been given more insight and knowledge about the Civil Rights Movement and John Lewis's life, however, we are also given the inspiration to continue his legacy. As he once said in his autobiography Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America, "you are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone -- any person or any force -- dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant." With our lights, we can only move forward. With our lights, we can only march forward.
March Vol. 1
John Lewis (author), Andrew Aydin (author), Nate Powell (illustrator)
Marietta, GA : Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing 
Formats: Book, eBook