Last Updated on August 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 327
March is the historical and autobiographical graphic novel trilogy from congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. The characters are all historical, from the 1940s to the start of the Obama presidency. The trilogy starts with Obama's inauguration and is told in flashbacks from Lewis's early life, but it mostly concentrates on a ten-year period from 1955 to 1965.
John Lewis is the central character. He grew up in the 1940s on an Alabama farm. As a young student, he began to take part in civil rights marches. Book Two continues from the Freedom Marches to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, including the tragic church bombings. Book Three chronicles Lewis's time as head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). This includes the March on Selma, with its notorious attack by mounted police.
Otis Carter was Lewis's uncle who encouraged him to join the civil rights movement.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a young minister who became the best-known leader in the civil rights movement. He was thrust into the spotlight at age twenty-four by the Montgomery bus boycott. King supported John Lewis's suit against an all-white college for not accepting him as a student. King was finally murdered, but that is not covered in Lewis's trilogy.
Rosa Parks is best known for her refusal to give up her bus seat, sparking the bus boycott.
Fred Gray was a lawyer who represented Rosa Parks and then Lewis.
Jim Lawson was a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Lawson trained students in nonviolent tactics.
Alexander Looby was an early black lawyer, an immigrant from the West Indies. He represented the SNCC students during their sit-ins. White supremacists tried to kill Looby by bombing his home with dynamite.
Ben West was the mayor of Nashville. He sided with students in their sit-in, releasing them from jail and ending the segregation of lunch counters in the city.