Can you imagine what it was like to be in Alabama in 1964 trying to get the right to vote for African Americans and all Americans?
After President Obama became President of the United States, Representative John Lewis and his aide, Andrew Aydin decided it was time to put John Lewis’ memories down in a book for our children. Nate Powell came on board to draw the graphic novel illustrations.
This is truly history come alive. It is literally his story…history. John Lewis was at heart of the Civil Rights Movement. In this vivid telling, he gives us the steps and the pieces. He remembers the beatings, the sheriff, the judge, the murders. In Mississippi in one summer they suffered “more than 1,000 arrests, 80 beatings, 35 shootings, 35 church burnings and 30 bombings,”
This is Selma. This is the march to Montgomery. This is the Democratic National Convention. This is Fannie Lou Hamer and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. This is Malcolm X. This is President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Here is Rep. Lewis’ memory of a part of his life that was incredibly frightening. There is a picture of a window where white Americans stepped up to fill out their voting application. It was a simple process requiring a few minutes and a short form. But just next door at the window where African Americans applied to vote, the employees disappeared or asked challenging questions of knowledge to verify the voter’s capacity to participate in an election.
The powerful illustrations bring you into the moment. You feel what it was like to wait in a line, to march toward a wall of police, to listen to the anger and the hatred directed at you personally and as a race.
This is an incredible journey filled with courage and steadfast determination that was met with unbelievable rage, prejudice and a lack of empathy that defies the imagination. It’s hard to change the world but these amazing human beings sacrificed so much, some their life itself, to force the powers that be to enact the laws that honored and acknowledged the rights of every woman and every man in this great country.
978-1603094023 Ages 12 and up 246 pages
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com