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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Review: March Trilogy

 March: Trilogy is the story of the Civil Rights  movement as told by the late John Lewis. I've already read about much of this in Master of the Senate, but this graphic novel (broken into 3 books for no apparent reason) provides details that only an insider can.

The first big detail was how much training, preparation and selection went into selecting the civil rights protesters. This was not a mob of angry volunteers, but people seriously inculcated in the art of non-violent demonstration, and prepared to put their bodies and lives on the line. The SNCC would actively tell people not to join if they couldn't discipline themselves into not fighting back.

What I didn't know also was the separation of the SNCC (John Lewis's organization) from the SCLC, which was associated with Martin Luther King. The two groups did coordinate actions, but did not always see eye to eye on when to demonstrate. Finally, the description of Malcolm X and what he saw his role in the movement was interesting, though again, the book did not dwell on it or discuss its implications.

I would not have found this book without the help of the Black Lives Matter movement, but having found it, thought it was a great way to tell the story. The art is well done (all in black and white), and many scenes bring home the horror and violence of the segregationists of that period. I've often wondered if the non-violent movements for both India and the Civil Rights movement only succeeded because they weren't up against a truly implacable enemy like the Nazis, but reading this book reminded me that there's no difference between the segregationists, the Nazis, and the modern Republican party.


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