Want to read a dynamic medium to learn a dynamic story? The Civil Rights story is apt to be told through comic books, and we've seen that people want to read the story. If you're one of those people, but don't know where to start, here are some fantastic comic books that tackle the African American experience. 

MARCH: BOOK ONE

by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell

Of course we have to start with March: Book One. Congressman John Lewis's story details his life as a constant fighter of injustice. From his childhood on a sharecropper farm in rural Alabama to his successful non-violent sit-ins to protest segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.

Set during the first inauguration of President Obama, the story is told through a flashback that shows how far we've come, and how far we have to go as well. 


MARCH: BOOK TWO

by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell

Continuing the story from Book One, this installment of the trilogy focuses on the Freedom Rides and the brutal injustice he and others faced when confronting racism in the south. 

As he rises to prominence as the elected chairman of the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee,  Lewis finds himself now a part of the "Big Six" leaders, and a key speaker in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 


Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story

by Fellowship of Reconciliation (digital download)

This comic book, originally published in December 1957 and endorsed by Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired Congressman John Lewis to fight against racism. It relays the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts that started with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in 1955. 

The comic book is a moment of history that reiterates the affect that peaceful, non-violent protests can have on changing the status quo. A great, historical read for anyone who wants to learn how to organize and stand up for what they believe in. 


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Turning Points: Little Rock Nine

by Marshall Poe and Ellen Lindner

The only fictional story on our list, this graphic novel tells the story of two children from different worlds dealing with the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

William McNally is the son of a white family whose father and grandfather is at odds about integration. Thomas Johnson is the African American son of the McNally's maid who, despite his parents' reservations and the inherent dangers, wants to be a part of the kids that integrate Central High School. The children become fast friends despite living in a world that would keep them separate. 

A good introductory book to the story of the Little Rock Nine, the book is a great way to spark discussion about people's sentiment toward Jim Crow laws and integration in the 1950s. 

 


These are just some of the Civil Rights graphic novels and comic books that are out there. Do you know of any stories that aren't on our list? 

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AuthorSierra Dangerfield
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