Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. In the graphic novel March, Lewis offers a vivid, first-hand memoir of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. From his experience growing up on an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the medal of freedom from the first African-American president. Congressman Lewis tells his remarkable story in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times bestselling artist Nate Powell.
Book One spans John 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 stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.
John Lewis has been an icon of the civil rights movement since his days as a Nashville college student, organizing sit-ins and participating in the first Freedom Rides. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington and a leader of the 1965 Selma–Montgomery March (known as “Bloody Sunday”), where police brutality spurred national outrage and hastened passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He has represented Georgia in Congress for over 25 years and recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Following his previous award-winning books Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement and Across that Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, he has joined co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell for the new graphic novel March: Book One, a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
Andrew Aydin, an Atlanta native, currently serves in Rep. John Lewis’ congressional office handling telecommunications and technology policy as well as new media. Previously, he served as communications director and press secretary during Rep. Lewis’ 2008 and 2010 re-election campaigns, as District Aide to Rep. John Larson (D-CT), and as Special Assistant to Connecticut Lt. Governor Kevin Sullivan. Andrew is a graduate of the Lovett School in Atlanta, Trinity College in Hartford, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where his graduate thesis “The Comic Book That Changed the World” examined the history of the 1957 comic book “Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story.”
Nate Powell is a New York Times best-selling comic book artist/writer born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1978. He began self-publishing at age 14, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2000. His work includes the critically acclaimed Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole (winner of the Eisner Award and Ignatz Award, finalist for the LA Times Book Prize), The Year of the Beasts, The Silence of Our Friends, and Sounds of Your Name. In addition to March, Powell is also currently drawing the graphic novel adaptation of Rick Riordan’s #1 international bestseller Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero, while writing and drawing his own projects.
64 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038
Nate Powell signs at Big Planet Comics on Friday, February 24, from 6:00 to 7:30.
426 Maple Ave. E., Vienna, VA 22180
This event has been canceled and will not be rescheduled.
Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell sign at Politics and Prose on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm.
In this remarkable confluence of talents, Powell’s graphic artistry joins Long’s true story and Demonakos’s narrative skills to depict an episode of the civil rights struggle. In 1967, five black college students in Texas were accused of killing a white policeman. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood not only spoke in their defense, but succeeded in getting the charges against them dropped.
Politics & Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
Fantagraphics Bookstore kicks off Black History Month on Saturday, February 4 with the debut of two diverse books. Seattle-based music scholar Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey!: The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965 – 1975, will be joined by Seattle authors Mark Long and Jim Demonakos, who together with cartoonist Nate Powell created the graphic novel The Silence of Our Friends.
While researching this book project in Oakland, archivist Pat Thomas discovered rare recordings of speeches, interviews, and music by noted activists Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Elaine Brown, and others that form the framework of this definitive retrospective. Listen, Whitey! also chronicles the forgotten history of Motown Records’ Black Power subsidiary label, Black Forum, which released politically charged albums by Stokely Carmichael, Langston Hughes, Bill Cosby and Ossie Davis, among others. Obscure records produced by African-American sociopolitical organizations of the period are examined, along with the Isley Brothers, Nina Simone, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Watts Prophets, Roland Kirk, Horace Silver, Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, Stanley Crouch, and others that spoke out against oppression. Thomas will give a slide and music presentation, and limited number of advance copies of the book will be available to the public. Also making its debut is a companion CD of the same title from Seattle-based Light in the Attic records. The album features rare tracks from African-American activists like Dick Gregory, Eldridge Cleaver, Last Poets, and others, with protest music by Bob Dylan, John and Yoko Ono, Gil Scott-Heron, Roy Harper, and more.
The Silence of Our Friends is the semi-autobiographical tale of Mark Long. Set in 1967 Texas against the backdrop of the civil rights struggle, a white family from a notoriously racist suburb and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston’s color line, overcoming fear and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman. Co-authored by Jim Demonakos (founder of Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon), and drawn by award-winning cartoonist Nate Powell, The Silence of Our Friends is a new and important entry in the body of civil rights literature.
Join these remarkable authors on Saturday, February 4 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) in Seattle’s colorful Georgetown neighborhood. Phone 206.658.0110.