The March trilogy has been widely written about and has won several awards including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, YALSA’s Outstanding Books for the College Bound, and is also a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
We all learn about the civil rights movement in school. Depending on your school and teacher, this subject may have been glossed over or a great amount of time may have been spent on it. Either way, when looking back at history, we may think of it as a done deal. History is something that has occurred and would have occurred no matter what. We may falsely assume that the past has little to do with the state of things today or how our individual lives are playing out. We may assume that things were destined to turn out how they did.
The power in this trilogy is that this is John Lewis’ own story. We see history from a first person point of view. We can better appreciate the hardships and struggles when the experience is related by one who has lived it. We can better understand what it is like to have to make decisions and take actions when we don’t know what the outcome will be. John Lewis’ account shows how hard people had to work to have their voices heard and the incredible courage they possessed. As a central figure in the fight for civil rights, John Lewis reintroduces us to many people we already know, but maybe even more importantly, he introduces as to the brave people who we haven’t met before or who are at risk of being forgotten.
This important trilogy should be part of every school’s civil rights’ curriculum.