March: Book Three

March: Book Three
Written John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell

Publisher’s Summary:
Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling March trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world.

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. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. 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.

With these new struggles come new allies, new opponents, and an unpredictable new president who might be both at once. But fractures within the movement are deepening … even as 25-year-old John Lewis prepares to risk everything in a historic showdown high above the Alabama River, in a town called Selma.

Primary Source Pairing:
The final book of a three-part series on the amazing life of Civil Rights activist John Lewis, March: Book Three presents Lewis’ perseverance, dedication and leadership in the Civil Rights Movement and his involvement in the March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Use the book itself to present the importance and the power of visual literacy. Begin a discussion with students on the format of this memoir: How does the graphic novel format of the text influence the story of John Lewis’ life? How does the format enhance the information in this memoir? Does the graphic novel format increase the reader’s comprehension of information in the book? How? Why?

For this primary source pairing, invite students to analyze a collage of four images:

  • Top left: Alabama police attack Selma to Montgomery marchers, known as “Bloody Sunday,” in 1965
  • Top right: Marchers carrying banner “We march with Selma!” on street in Harlem, New York City, New York in 1965
  • Bottom left: Participants in the Selma to Montgomery march in Alabama during 1965
  • Bottom right: Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, their families, and others leading the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965

Let the questions that arise during analysis of these images guide the discussion about the book and the series as a whole.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What’s happening in the image
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What, if any, words do you see?
  • What other details can you see?
  • How does this photograph connect to what you read in March: Book Three?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Infobox Collage for Selma to Montgomery Marches: Wikimedia Commons

Primary Source Pairings for the March Series:
March: Book One
March: Book Two

Related Primary Source Pairings:
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story on the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Additional Resources:
Additional pairings could include news footage, newspaper articles, maps, and clips from the 2014 Selma movie.