Literary Events

John Lewis

When: Sat., Sept. 20, 2-4 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 21, 2-4 p.m. 2014

As a young man, John Lewis read a comic book that planted a philosophical seed inside him, which would later grow into an influential career as a civil rights activist. The comic book was Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, and illustrated the story of Rosa Parks. It also introduced the principles of nonviolent activism and the ways they could be used to abolish segregation. Lewis later became a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement, as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was among the leaders of the 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Montgomery March known as “Bloody Sunday,” which catalyzed the passage of the Voting Rights Act that same year. Recently, Lewis, a Congressman from Georgia, decided that he wanted to sow similar seeds in today’s young readers by telling his story through a three-part graphic novel. Enlisting Andrew Aydin as a co-writer and Nate Powell as the artist, he published March: Book One in 2013. The New York Times bestseller is an accessible and riveting introduction to pivotal moments in American history and the personal dilemmas that accompany a life of activism. The colorless illustrations are somber and dramatic, with heavy shadows overlying many of the scenes, offering endless opportunities for metaphorical interpretation of black and white. Lewis will be at Calvary Presbyterian Church (2515 Fillmore St., San Francisco) on Saturday, September 20 at 2 p.m. and the Northbrae Community Church (941 The Alameda, Berkeley) at the same time on the following day to discuss and sign the book. Book Two will be released next January.

Sarah Burke

Price: Free

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