Little Rock native Nate Powell wins National Book Award | Rock Candy

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Little Rock native Nate Powell wins National Book Award

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 10:59 AM

click to enlarge TEAM 'MARCH': Co-authors Andrew Aydin, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and Nate Powell. - VIA @SEEMYBROTHERDANCE ON INSTAGRAM
  • Via @seemybrotherdance on Instagram
  • TEAM 'MARCH': Co-authors Andrew Aydin, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and Nate Powell.

Little Rock native Nate Powell is a National Book Award winner. "March: Book Three," the final part of U.S. Rep. John Lewis' civil rights memoir, won the award for young people's literature at a ceremony in New York last night. Andrew Aydin and Powell were co-authors with Lewis on the trilogy.

This marks the first time a graphic novel has ever won the National Book Award, and makes the "March" trilogy, already a bestseller that's landed on school reading lists across the country, one of the most decorated comic works ever.

Powell hasn't lived in Arkansas in years, but he remains connected to the state and its arts community. He was a member of Little Rock's Soophie Nun Squad, the party-punk band that gained an international following, and for 16 years, he ran Harlan Records and released all sorts of essential Little Rock albums.

Now a resident of Bloomington, Ind., he's accomplished quite a bit in recent years. From his bio:

Powell's work has received a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, two Eisner Awards, two Ignatz Awards, two Harvey Awards, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, four YALSA Great Graphic Novels For Teens selections, a Best American Comics selection, and has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Powell has discussed his work at the United Nations, as well as on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and CNN. His books have been placed on school curriculum in over 40 states, and his animated illustrations in the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Selma: The Bridge To The Ballot" documentary will reach roughly one million students in 50,000 schools across the nation.
Along the way, we also got him to do the cover art for an issue of the Arkansas Times.

"Our work was in the spirit of illuminating those participants whose contributions have been less celebrated, but as the trilogy progressed it clearly told a story of 2016 as much as it did of 1964, and I found myself increasingly focused on future readers," Powell told the National Book Award Foundation. "As my two daughters grow into the world, as their perspectives rapidly expand, March is a road map, providing a real sense of continuity and empathy for those who came before—and how best to move forward. In such a toxic time, I hope this continues to be a part of the antidote for which we're all hungry."
click to enlarge march-book-three-cover-100dpi_lg.jpg

Here's Lewis' reaction, per NPR:

"I remember in 1956 when I was 16 years old, going down to the public library, trying to get library cards, and we were told that the libraries were whites-only and not for coloreds," Lewis said.

But Lewis, whose work in the civil rights movement is chronicled in the March trilogy of graphic memoirs, said he would not relent.

"I had a wonderful teacher in elementary school who told me, 'Read my child, read!' And I tried to read everything," Lewis said.

"To come here and receive this award — it's too much."

Three of the major awards went to books that deal with race and racism: In addition to "March: Book Three," Colson Whitehead's "Underground Railroad" won the fiction prize and Ibram X. Kendi's "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" won the nonfiction prize.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Future of the LRSD Edition

    The Little Rock School District settling a racial bias lawsuit, the state board of education approving three new charter schools in Little Rock and the latest news on DACA — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Walmart plans to build new HQ in Bentonville

    Walmart will build a new headquarters in Bentonville, CEO Doug McMillon said today. The project is expected to accommodate 14,000-17,000 employees, who are now spread among 20 buildings in Bentonville, Arkansas Business reports. It's expected to be built in stages and take five to seven years to be completed.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Huffington Post turns spotlight on Little Rock

    Huffington Post's Listen to America project is in Little Rock today. Along with KARK/Fox 16, it's hosting a panel discussion at Philander Smith College at 7 p.m. tonight. The stop-through coincided with a series of stories published on the HuffPost website
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • Matt Damon to portray LR charlatan famed for goat testicle implants

    John Romulus Brinkley is one of Arkansas's greatest frauds, famed for his claim, fatal for some, that surgery to implant goat glands into testicles would restore virility. Thanks to the upcoming movie "Charlatan," we might get to see Matt Damon handling goat gonads, birthmoviesdeath.com reports.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation