Illustrated by Nate Powell
The final book in this trilogy picks up with events early in 1963 when a church in Birmingham was bombed, and four young girls were killed. John Lewis and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and other Civil Rights groups came together after that bombing to try to get more representation on a state and national level since their local politicians were going to continue to turn a blind eye to violence. They organized into the Freedom Democratic Party and tried to take part in the Democratic National Convention, but drew the ire of LBJ in his re-election campaign. Larger demonstrations were necessary as violence mounted and became more blatant. Lewis and his fellows conceived of a march from Selma, Alabama, to the capital in Montgomery, an event that is now referred to as "Bloody Sunday" because of how badly law enforcement officers beat demonstrators. After that terrible day, another march was planned with Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr., and this time, they were successful in reaching Montgomery. The finale ties together Lewis and Aydin discussing commemorating all the important work of Lewis' life into a comicbook.
Illustrated by Nate Powell
In this second volume of the life of former Senator John Lewis, we see Lewis as a college student who is getting more and more involved in the racial protests in the South. Lewis was one of the first and longest members of the Freedom Riders group who bought tickets on buses going between several states and challenged bus company's rules that buses needed to be segregated. This was in direct violation of the Supreme Court ruling in Morgan v. Virginia where the court found segregated buses to be unconstitutional. Lewis narrowly missed being on one of the buses that was attacked and torched by KKK members. On several occasions, Lewis and other riders were jailed and refused to post bail, saying that paying it would then fund the racist policies they were fighting against. Lewis gets more involved with Dr. King, and is selected as one of the six representatives to meet with President Kennedy on the racial tensions in the south. Lewis is elected the president of SYNC, and later is the last speaker at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where King delivered his famous, "I Have a Dream Speech." Included in end notes is the full text of Lewis' speech, called "This is It".
Illustrated by Marcus Kwame Anderson
Presented here is a history of the Black Panther Party from its inception by Bobby Seal and Huey Newton, to its demise in the 70s. Along the way, Walker presents information on the FBI’s mission against the Panthers, spearheaded by COINTERPRO, Counterintelligence program for the FBI. Across the United States, there were several different chapters of the Panthers that had their own ideologies and philosophies about how to bring about political change in the country. These differences contributed to internal struggles in the party throughout its history, which contributed to its implosion. Also presented is detailed information of many of the party’s prominent figures.
Illustrated by Nate Powell
On the morning of Barack Obama’s inauguration to his first term as president, Congressman John Lewis readies himself in his office in Washington D.C. A lady with two kids stops by the office, obviously not expecting the Congressman to be there, but they are delighted to find him and ask questions about his life and his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. This launches Lewis down memory lane as he recounts his childhood from growing up on a farm, raising chickens, to going to school and getting involved in sit ins at local department store lunch counters. The work isn't done with those demonstrations, as later volumes promise to hold other activism and demonstrations Lewis took part in and led.
Across the Tracks by Alverne Ball
Illustrated by Stacey Robinson
This book seeks to chronicle the success that was Greenwood, Oklahoma, a portion of the city of Tulsa that was a completely segregated Black community. Several Black business owners, entrepreneurs, and real-estate investors had a vision for a community that could be sustained entirely without white businesses, and they went about creating a thriving town with grocery stores, entertainment venues, mortgage offices, banks, and just about everything else you need in a town. Because so much was offered, much of the Black community spent their money in Greenwood, rather than in Tulsa, and money was spent several times over inside Greenwood before going to white businesses. Greenwood got the nickname "Black Wall Street" from Booker T. Washington when he came on a visit. Then, a race war came to Tulsa, with claims that a young Black man touched a white woman. Residents of Greenwood armed themselves and marched on the courthouse to protect the young man. But white residents of Tulsa were also marching on the court house, and the ensuing battle resulted in the destruction of most of Greenwood, the implementation of a military state, the deputization of hundreds of armed white Tulsans, and the systematic execution of many of Greenwood's residents.
Vol 1: Quest to be the best, illustrated by Selina Espiritu, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Quin is a sophomore trying to stay out of trouble in New Orleans. After some of the horrific events of his life, including living through Hurricane Katrina ravage his city, Quin just wants to build the ultimate security system to keep his family safe from as many harms as he can think of. His crush is involved in community activism, and he becomes inspired to help his community. He’s also trying to dodge bullies, mostly so they don’t find out his secret - a meteor shower that ravaged the city after the hurricane gave Quin and many others super powers. Quin is indestructible, at least as far as he knows. A recent spike in crime has Quin working with the other enhanced heroes he’s only ever read about. Quin acts fast to save his neighborhood and his family from the evil machinations of a criminal mastermind.
The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes
Illustrated by DJ Kirkland
Thomas Token has been invited to enroll in the elite St. Ivory Academy of Spellcraft and Sorcery. Thanks to the Magical Minority Initiative, Tom is the first Black mage to be admitted. There, he meets Lindsey Whitethorn, and he suffers through her well-meaning questions about Black mages, such as whether he’s proud to be the first Black mage, and other micro-aggressions. She is his campus liaison, and the two become friends when Lindsey helps Tom’s crow, Jim, get healed after a skirmish with the headmaster’s son. The teachers all wear robes too alike to Klan garb, but Tom goes along in his studies until someone slips him the ID card of another Black mage. Tom’s investigations into this uncover a grizzly secret at the very core of St. Ivory’s existence.
Incognegro by Mat Johnson
Illustrated by Warren Pleece
This graphic novel was originally published in 2008, but had a repackaging for a 10th anniversary edition in 2018, and is even more poignant now. The story follows this idea that Mat had from his childhood. He is a very fair-skinned African American, and he and his friends used to joke that he would be able to go "incognegro" and pass as a white person. Then, later in his life, Mat had twin boys - one who could pass as incognegro, and the other who couldn't. He meshed the two ideas together, and added the historical element of Northern African American journalists traveling to the South before the Civil Rights movement, and passing for white journalists.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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