Fifty years ago today, hundreds of thousands of people marched on Washington to rally for civil rights for African Americans. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, calling for racial harmony. The March was a turning point in the civil rights movement, which eventually succeeded in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Google honors Dr. King today with a Doodle in his honor.
Congressman John Lewis, one of the “Big Six” coalition leaders and the youngest speaker at the March, has been making history again with his comic book retelling of his journey. March is a moving story that is all the more powerful for being true. I mentioned March in my Serious Comics series already, but if you haven’t read it yet, today might be the perfect time to sit down and have a look.
I will note that while the book does not portray the worst of the violence committed against African Americans in the 1960s, it does have the occasional N-word and you do get a sense of the fear and tension surrounding the African American community, particularly in the South. I think the book can be an incredible way to teach kids about these events, but it’s best done with parental guidance and conversation.