February 4, 2014 – Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) talked to members of the Georgetown community about his involvement as a young man in the civil rights movement and his graphic memoir that chronicles his experience during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Lewis, currently the only living speaker from the 1963 march, co-wrote March: Book One (Top Shelf Publishing, 2013) with Georgetown alumnus Andrew Aydin (G’12), who also appeared during the Feb. 3 visit to campus.
Aydin serves as an aide to Lewis handling telecom and technology policy as well as new media. The Atlanta native also served as Lewis’ communications director and press secretary during the congressman’s 2008 and 2010 re-election campaigns.
Lewis has been a member of Congress for more than 25 years, but he’s also known for his activism during the civil rights movement as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, for organizing countless sit-ins, voter registration drives and Freedom Rides throughout the segregated South, where he endured brutal beatings from white supremacists. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 for his contributions.
Lewis told university students, faculty and staff who gathered in Riggs Library that a comic book about Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott that he read in college not only inspired his involvement in the civil rights movement, it inspired him to write the No. 1 New York Times best-selling graphic novel with Aydin.
March: Book One, the first part of a trilogy, spans Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with King, the birth of the Nashville Student Movement and its battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins.