“And this is it, the big day – a uniquely American day.” So begins March, the graphic novel written by Congressman John Lewis that illustrates his experience marching alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. as the youngest leader of the Civil Rights Movement.
Beginning with violent scenes of Lewis and his fellow peaceful protesters being beaten and harassed by police during a march from Selma to Montgomery, which came to be known as “Bloody Sunday,” the comic book then cuts to the morning the first African American president is inaugurated in 2009 – a uniquely American day, indeed.
"When we were organizing voter-registration drives, going on the Freedom Rides, sitting in, coming here to Washington for the first time, getting arrested, going to jail, being beaten, I never thought—I never dreamed—of the possibility that an African American would one day be elected president of the United States," Lewis said after the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
I think I speak for all the Amazonians who were in attendance when I say I was inspired by Congressman Lewis during his visit to our Seattle headquarters for a very special author fishbowl to discuss March, the third book in the award-winning graphic novel series.
Brimming with anecdotes about his extraordinary life, Congressman Lewis, along with coauthor Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell, spoke to a riveted audience of Amazonians and revealed yet another great talent of his – storytelling. Of his motivation for the project, Lewis said he was inspired by the 1950s comic book, Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story, which he read as a boy. By telling the story of the struggle for Civil Rights in a new an interesting format, Lewis said March is “a blueprint for peaceful protests for now and for the future.”
It's events like these that make me proud to be an Amazonian. From our earliest days as an online bookseller to the company we've grown into today, which includes innovative new forms of work, like this graphic novel available on our digital comic book arm, Comixology, we've never forgotten our commitment to authors and content creators of all kinds. Our fishbowl program celebrates the work of many amazing writers, musicians and keynote speakers, by allowing Amazonians the opportunity to learn something new or listen to something great.
While I am grateful to have had Lewis’ voice in Congress for nearly three decades, I’m equally grateful I was able to attend his author fishbowl to hear him speak about March. His is a story of extraordinary courage, bravery and patriotism that has never been more relevant, and it was a privilege to welcome him to Amazon to share it with others.