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march BY ANDREW AYDIN + JOHN LEWIS

We were all taught a brief outline of the civil rights movement in a history class at some point in our life, but these lessons are a dishonor to Black history and a disregard of an essential moment in American history. We have but a surface level knowledge of what happened during this trying time, but thanks to the late U.S. congressman and prominent civil rights activist, John Lewis, we now have access from his perspective to a real behind-the-scenes look of the hardships and brutality that occurred all wrapped up in a beautiful set of graphic novels called March.

This autobiographical graphic novel trilogy was written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin. The black and white illustrations by Nate Powell have commanding imagery that force an uncontrollable empathy toward every human that fought for not only their own basic human rights, but for their brother’s and sister’s and comrades’ and for the future of mankind and the endeavor for equality.

Each book in the set shares detailed and vivid events that took place over the duration of this time in the 1960s, from the creation of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) to the infamous restaurant protests, from the church bombings that killed four little girls to the freedom rides that lead to countless arrests and numerous deaths,

from the Teacher’s March and Bloody Sunday to the ludicrous extra tasks black people had to undergo when trying to register to vote, such as having to guess how many jellybeans are in a jar. 

 

Reading history in the way of a graphic novel should be mandatory in schools. Events such as these told in a form such as this makes the subject matter all the more digestible. Beware because you might find yourself wanting to further research other perspectives and events once the last page is turned. At the very least, it will make you want to watch and/or listen to John Lewis’ infamous speech that is spoken within the pages of book two.  

 

Knowing that SNCC members and opposers who helped perpetuate things could still be alive puts the time of the movement into perspective. The 1960s is less than a century ago and even though John Lewis is no longer among the living, he left a great legacy that helped pave a path and future for all of mankind. Everyone should have the same attitude, drive, conviction, and determination as he had. Rest in Peace.

"Because of you, John."

—Barack Obama

 

 

IF THIS THEN...

» Run (the sequel to March)

» Eyes On The Prize (PBS series)

» Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts (graphic novel)

» Emory Douglas: Art of the Black Panthers (doc)

» Teaching Hard History (podcast)

» Selma (film)

» Mississippi Burning (film)

» King: Montgomery to Memphis (doc)

» Malcolm X: Make It Pain (film)

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ear hustle BY NIGEL POOR + EARLONNE WOODS

The first podcast created and produced in prison, Ear Hustle normalizes the people who are in prison—in this case, San Quentin State Prison. They'll tell you it's about the "daily realities," which isn't a lie, but as I listened to the first few episodes I found myself shifting.

The first time I heard about criminal justice reform was in my late 20s, I think? It was something
Danielle Chynoweth said/wrote about on a Champaign County effort. From there, I would learn bits and pieces about the complexities—slowly learning the layers and downfalls of the prison system. After watching 13th (on a big screen at Ebertfest, where Ava DuVernay was interviewed afterwards!), the truth of it all hit hard.  

What
Ear Hustle brings to this lesson best is the most important piece—the people. You know when you're consuming something and a part of your heart and brain wake up? The call to grow into a better person should be answered, while also recognizing the importance of that humbling reminder you'll forever be a student of life. Ear Hustle did that for me (thank you for recommending it to me, Leah). I didn't realize I had some blanket statement beliefs of what type of person is in prison. Beliefs that didn't line up with any of the other ways I thought about this system.

Ear Hustle doesn't sugar coat anything. They speak their individual truths, while you have the great privilege of watching people flourish from being seen, from being respected. And you, yourself, learning to respect them, too. 


IF THIS THEN...

» The New Jim Crow (book)

» Slavery by Another Name (PBS doc)
» Crime + Punishment (Hulu doc)

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HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!
Check these resources for all your queer consuming pleasure! Or just put on
But I'm a Cheerleader and know the rest of your day will be better as a result.
BOOKS

Your favorite lesbian bookseller @thelaynierose
shares what I call vacation reads
(to help your
brain relax)
MOVIES

Black, queer founder—Chris Witherspoon—is founder of @popviewers which helps you find what to watch next
POLITICS

@thetaskforce is building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect
of their lives
SUMMER CAMP!

@bravetrails with the mission of connecting LGBTQ+ youth to their people, place, and passion
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CLOTHING

@dapperboi
is a gender-neutral and size-inclusive  everyday clothing line for everyBODY