Congressman John Lewis a hit at Literary Festival | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Congressman John Lewis a hit at Literary Festival

Posted By on Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

click to enlarge STILL MARCHING: John Lewis with Olly Neal, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell in LR Sunday. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • STILL MARCHING: John Lewis with Olly Neal, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell in LR Sunday.

How can you not love John Lewis. The 74-year-old Georgia congressman and civil rights hero radiates hope and optimism. How he does it in a calcified Congress where there are daily reminders that, for all the progress the movement brought, obstacles remain and even grow.

A big crowd — 300 or more I'd say — went to the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center to hear Lewis on an Arkansas Literary Festival panel with collaborators on his graphic novel, "March: Book One," about his life. They were North Little Rock native Nate Powell, the acclaimed illustrator, and Andrew Aydin, a Lewis staff member who co-wrote the book.

Leslie Peacock and Brian Chilson were on hand so there may be more coverage to come. I was just happy to soak it up. A second volume in a three-volume series of "March" is coming in January. The book is being made required reading at universities around the country. It's been distributed in a free digital form and there's talk of a movie or other graphic presentation. It wasn't conceived as a financial windfall, but as a sincere effort to put the message of non-violence and useful protest into wider circulation. If it appears it will also mean financial rewards for John Lewis,great. Iit couldn't happen to a nicer guy. The almost palpable reverence for Lewis on the part of his collaborators was striking. He is, said Powell, the real article. Powell has worked on the project for 10 years.

Retired Judge Olly Neal, no small figure himself in the Arkansas civil rights movement, moderated.

Lewis message: Keep witnessing. Keep making noise. Peacefully. He believes, for example, there's ample movement among the people for comprehensive immigration reform to bring millions of American residents out of the "shadows." The problem? Elected officials. He didn't lay partisan blame, though he could have. Sen. Mark Pryor was on hand and Lewis praised him effusively.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • LR charter school application withdrawn for this year

    Friendship Aspire Academy has withdrawn its request to move up plans to open a charter school in Little Rock by a year to take advantage of a vacant building being remodeled by the Walton Family Foundation for another charter operator that withdrew.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • Another prison death under investigation

    John Howell, 58, who was serving a life sentence for capital murder in Garland County, died shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday after being found unresponsive on the floor of his barracks at the Cummins Unit, a spokesman said.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • With Trump, of course, there's a catch

    So the heroic Donald Trump proposes a compromise to tearing families apart - jailing them indefinitely.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation