Picking up where the late Rep. John Lewis’s acclaimed graphic memoir March ended, his new memoir, Run, opens as the Watts uprising breaks out, the 1965 Voting Rights Act becomes law, and the impact of Black Nationalism, Pan Africanism, the Vietnam war, and the anti-apartheid movement create new challenges to the tenets of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement and to young Lewis’s leadership of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
Run invokes a new phase in the movement’s struggle against Jim Crow segregation and for Black voting rights, depicting the continuing racist violence directed at activists, as well as local segregationist acts of anti-Black voter suppression—such as closing polling places in Black neighborhoods—which seem eerily similar to our contemporary political conflicts over voting.
In this short excerpt, Lewis reflects on growing political factions within the ranks of the Black Civil Rights Movement and acknowledges the global nature of the Black liberation movement. The excerpt also includes L. Fury’s character designs and early sketches.
Excerpt provided by Abrams ComicArts from Run: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, with illustrations by Nate Powell and L. Fury © John Lewis and Andrew Aydin.
—Difficult History: On John Lewis’s March
This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.