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Tag Archives: John Lewis

Let These Books — From Poetry To The Political — Kick Off Your 2017 Reading List

How does one structure a year in reading?The New York Times published the answers of 47 writers and artists who reflected on the books they chose over the past year. Their responses create a fascinating skein of reading and thinking, and include essays from four Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recipients. The entire conversation, which weaves from basketball hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to filmmaker Ava DuVernay to former House speaker Newt Gingrich to author Maxine Hong Kingston, is enlivening, a hopeful way to face into a new year.Praise for “The Underground Railroad,” the stupendous fall novel from Anisfield-Wolf winner Colson Whitehead, threads through these reflections. Salman Rushdie read it; so did the YA-writer John Green, Anne Tyler and Judd Apatow.Maxine Hong Kingston, who... Read More →

“This Is Unreal”: Rep. John Lewis’ Acceptance Speech At 2016 National Book Awards

A visibly emotional John Lewis took to the podium at the 2016 National Book Awards to accept this year's prize for MARCH: Book Three, the last installation of the graphic novel series on the civil rights movement. Flanked by collaborators Andrew Aydin, his co-writer, and illustrator Nate Powell, Lewis shared the significance of the moment with the crowd. His brief acceptance speech, which brought tears to both Aydin and Powell, is worth a listen. Read More →

REVIEW: John Lewis Continues His “March,” Offers Handbook For Nonviolent Demonstrations

The second installment in March, Rep. John Lewis' acclaimed graphic memoir trilogy on the civil rights movement, picks up where the first volume left off, but this book is more handbook than history lesson. "I see some of the same manners, some of the same thinking, on the part of young people today that I witnessed as a student," the Georgia Congressman, 74, told the New York Times. "The only thing that is so different is that I don't think many of the young people have a deep understanding of the way of nonviolent direct action." March: Book Two, released in January, offers a robust crash course. This book centers on a young Lewis and his increasing responsibility within the movement from 1960 to 1963. The graphic memoir opens on young protesters staging a sit-in at a Nashville lunch... Read More →

Rep. John Lewis Laments The Police Killings of Blacks: “I Fear For The Future of This Country”

The veteran Civil Rights leader, survivor of a concussion and beating from Alabama State Troopers on Bloody Sunday, asks in a new essay: “If Bloody Sunday took place in Ferguson today, would Americans be shocked enough to do anything about it?” Lewis, winner of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his memoir “Walking With the Wind,” sees the recent police killings of unarmed black people as representing “a glimpse of a different America most Americans have found it inconvenient to confront.” Writing in the Atlantic, Lewis' words are tinged with weariness. In his essay, he draws on a 1967 speech by Martin Luther King Jr., in which King tells of the "other America," one in which justice doesn't come easy, if at all. Black Americans have been continually "swept up like rubbish by... Read More →

Congressman John Lewis Urges Cleveland State Graduates To “Be Good Citizens Of The World”

William Rieter | Cleveland State University On the day Nelson Mandela’s body was lowered into the ground, Congressman John Lewis raised his voice half a world away to exhort the December graduates of Cleveland State University to begin lives of activism and “to get into good trouble.” Lewis, 73, told the almost 1,000 graduates that he had been “very moved” in Johannesburg, South Africa, as part of the U.S. delegation to the Mandela memorial service. “Don’t give up; don’t give in; go forth and be good citizens, not just of America, but citizens of the world,” Lewis said, connecting his listeners to Mandela’s legacy and the American Civil Rights movement. “This is your day, not mine,” he said, with more than the snowy date on the calendar in mind. A man of... Read More →

Congressman John Lewis Publishes Graphic Novel Of Civil Rights Movement

“Some of you may be asking: ‘Hey, John Lewis, why are you trying to write a comic book?’” said the legendary civil rights leader, smiling at the incongruity of this development for an audience at Book Expo America, the annual publishing trade show in Manhattan. John Lewis was 17 when he met Rosa Parks; 18 when he joined forces with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Five years later, he was one of the “big six,” an architect of the historic Civil Rights March on Washington in August 1963.  Standing at the Lincoln memorial, Lewis spoke sixth and King spoke tenth, stamping the day with his immortal “I Have a Dream.”  Of all those who addressed the throng a half century ago, Lewis is the only one left. Now, at 73, he has become the first member of the U.S. Congress to... Read More →

VIDEO: Henry Louis Gates Jr. Sheds Light In “Finding Your Roots”

It's so often repeated that it has lost most of its meaning, but the old saying is true: "You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been." Anisfield-Wolf jury chair Skip Gates' latest PBS show, "Finding Your Roots" takes it one step further by connecting the past and the future. In the video above, he assists Newark mayor Cory Booker and Sen. John Lewis (1999 nonfiction winner) in exploring their past. Check out the video and let us know - what questions do you have about your past? What would you hope researchers could find out about your family?  Read More →
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