Auditorium Speaker Series featuring John Lewis
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Congressman John Lewis is eager to reach a new generation of Americans with the story of his legendary role as one of the so-called “Big Six” leaders in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement who, despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, remains a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He believes that the nonfiction comic book format of his autobiographical three-volume project March will effectively engage readers with the story of the Movement and help document the extreme violence faced by himself and other Civil Rights activists. Attending this session will help you discover why he chose the comic book format, how the project grew to three volumes, and offer you insights into March, books you’ll likely be recommending and building programs around. Lewis will be joined by co-author Andrew Aydin and comic book artist Nate Powell for the second half of the program to discuss their collaboration on March.
Lewis consistently challenged the injustice of Jim Crow segregation and was a key leader and organizer, involved in many important and often violent protest marches. Among many other courageous acts, he helped organize sit-ins at segregated lunch counters, participated in the Freedom Rides, was at the age of 23 an architect of and a keynote speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, led a group of marchers across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965, and was instrumental in voter registration programs which faced dangerously hostile opposition.
As Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District Representative since 1987, he has continued to fight for social justice. He previously held other high-level positions, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. His 1999 memoir Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy, Lillian Smith, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. His most recent book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award.
Andrew Aydin currently serves in Rep. John Lewis’ Washington, D.C. office handling Telecommunications and Technology policy as well as New Media. Nate Powell is a New York Times best-selling comic book artist/writer who began self-publishing at age 14. 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. He contributed to the fundraising fiction anthology What You Wish For: A Book For Darfur with some of the world’s foremost writers of YA fiction, is currently drawing the graphic novel adaptation of Rick Riordan’s #1 international bestseller Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero, and is working on his own forthcoming graphic novel Cover, and assembling the short story collection You Don’t Say.
Sponsored by Top Shelf Comix