March Book 1: Spans Congressman 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.
March Book 2: After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence — but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before. Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the movement’s young activists place their lives on the line while internal conflicts threaten to tear them apart.
March Book 3: By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: “One Man, One Vote.” To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.
These are books I feel everyone should read. There was so much I didn’t know about that movement until I read them. I knew the basics, but to see the full details, with dates and names, was a different thing all together. I ended up grabbing a pad and paper and writing down some of the names of the people mentioned so I could do further research on all of them.
This is not an easy read. What these people went through can be horrifying at times. It’s haunting to know that this was how people in the United States felt (and some still feel) only 50 years ago. Congressman Lewis and all the people part of that movement chose a brave and courageous path when they decided to fight back against injustice with nonviolence. I’ve been becoming more and more aware of my privilege, but these books really hammered in the point. No one was safe if they were part of a movement. Members ended up jailed, beaten, and even killed. The fact that they didn’t give up or give in to violence is mind blowing. Even when there was dissension in the ranks, Lewis held true to his beliefs. His was not an easy life, but he fought for what he believed in and he still does as a Congressman today.
I wish I had the perfect words to give these titles the justice they deserve. I learned so much from reading them and I hope I became a better person for having done so.