I'm not going to recap what the graphic novel trilogy March is all about. I will simply say that it's excellent, very much worth the read. And for a couple of reasons: I learned quite a lot about the Civil Rights Movement and what it took to get the Voting Rights Act passed. I knew the general story, but this filled in a lot of the gaps, gaps I didn't even know existed in my knowledge.
But the other thing I learned is about the progress of a movement. It's not linear. There are no guaranteed outcomes. And just because a group of people want the same outcome does not mean they will agree on how to go about achieving that outcome. Revolution is messy, to borrow from Hamilton. And exhausting, and frightening, and sometimes life-threatening.
It would be nice if we could read this trilogy and say, oh, gosh, look how much better things have gotten. Yes, some things have improved. But if we have learned anything in the last eight years, and the last presidential election in particular, we know that things haven't improved nearly enough. I don't know how to fix that. But this trilogy is a good reminder that while painful and slow, it's still worth making the effort to stand up for what you believe, and I do think we're going to have to see more of that in the U.S. now.
My only quibble is that while I liked most of the art, I was puzzled by how some of the most prominent characters weren't drawn realistically. There were times when the drawing was of Dr. King or President Obama, but not recognizably. The artist is clearly talented, so I have to think that was a deliberate decision. But otherwise, presenting this story via graphic novel format was strikingly successful. I'm glad to have read it.