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2019/2020 ~ One Book,One Community - March: Nate Powell

Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, selection for our College and Community Read Progam

About the Trilogy ~ March: Book One; Book Two; Book Three

March Book One Cover Image

March: Book One

This is the memoir of Congressman John Lewis who has had a long and distinguished political career. Lewis is an iconic figure in the struggle for civil rights for African-Americans, and that struggle is the broader subject of his story – as is the resiliency and courage it takes to effect large-scale social change and correct injustices.  Presenting the story in the form of a graphic novel makes it that much more accessible and immediate for the targeted YA audience; March is a showcase example of the power of the comics medium as an educational tool. 

March: Book Two

This book is as excellent as the first as the historical saga and personal memoir of Rep. John Lewis continues, it follows the young Lewis as he and his allies protest segregation and other racist policies in the American South. African-American protestors are beaten, shot at, sprayed with high-pressure hoses, and attacked with dogs. A freedom rider bus is firebombed, as is a church full of worshippers. A vital story, beautifully and powerfully told --- a tale of some of the oldest hatreds our nation knows, and of the brave people who unflinchingly held to the principles of non-violence for the sake of a country more than willing to commit violence in turn.

March Book Three cover image

March: Book Three

This final volume gives a perfect balance of clarity and passion, drawing readers into the emotions of civil rights struggles, while carefully providing context and information, as well as empathy, even for the worst of the movement’s foes. Beginning with the church bombing at Birmingham, Ala.; moving through the blood-soaked years from 1963 to 1965; and ending with the signing of the Voting Rights Act, it puts many human faces on the historic battles. The narrative reveals the real work of revolution, focusing not just on the well-known events but the behind-the-scenes decision making, compromises, personal battles, sacrifices, and overall political landscape. It’s a dense and informative work, drawing a straight line between decades to compare the modern iterations of a struggle that still continues. 

Reviews: 2018.

Nate Powell, Illustrator ~ Brief Biography

Nate Powell (b. 1978, Little Rock, Arkansas) is the first cartoonist ever to win the National Book Award. He began self-publishing at age 14, and graduated from School of Visual Arts in 2000.

His work includes new Eisner-nominated Ozark horror tale Come Again, civil rights icon John Lewis' legendary March trilogy, comics essay About Face, You Don't Say, Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole, The Silence Of Our Friends, The Year Of The Beasts, and Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero.

Powell’s work has also received a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, three Eisner Awards, two Ignatz Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, a Coretta Scott King Author Award, four YALSA Great Graphic Novels For Teens selections, the Walter Dean Myers Award, and is a two-time finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Powell has discussed his work at the United Nations, as well as on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, CNN, and Free Speech TV. His books have been placed on school curriculum in over 40 states, and his animated artwork in the Southern Poverty Law Center's Selma: The Bridge To The Ballot has reached over a million students in 50,000 schools across the nation.

From 1999 to 2009, Powell worked full-time providing support for adults with developmental disabilities alongside his cartooning efforts. He managed underground record label Harlan Records for 16 years, and performed in punk bands Soophie Nun Squad and Universe. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Interview with Nate Powell

An interview with cartoonist Nate Powell (Eisner-award winning writer/artist) and his sometimes collaborator Rachel Bormann (Cakewalk).