For immediate release | February 12, 2013

Congressman John Lewis to speak at ALA Annual Conference

CHICAGO - Attendees at ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 29 when Congressman John Lewis appears as an Auditorium Speaker, will have a chance to discover how he plans to reach a new generation of Americans with the story of his legendary role as one of the so-called “Big Six” leaders in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. He believes that the nonfiction comic book format he chose for his autobiographical three-volume project" March" will effectively engage readers with the story of the Movement and help document the extreme violence he and other Civil Rights activists faced.

Lewis will be joined by co-author Andrew Aydin and comic book artist Nate Powell for the second half of the program to discuss their collaboration on "March" and how the project developed. Their appearance is sponsored by March publisher Top Shelf Comix.

Lewis consistently challenged the injustice of Jim Crow segregation and was a key leader and organizer, involved in many important and often violent protest marches. Among many other courageous acts, he helped organize sit-ins at segregated lunch counters, participated in the Freedom Rides, was at the age of 23 an architect of and a keynote speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, led a group of marchers across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Ala. on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965 and was instrumental in voter registration programs which faced dangerously hostile opposition. Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, he remains a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence.

As Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District Representative since 1987, he has continued to fight for social justice. He previously held other high-level positions, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. His 1999 memoir "Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement" won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy, Lillian Smith, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. His most recent book, "Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change," has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award.

Andrew Aydin currently serves in Rep. John Lewis’ Washington, D.C. office handling Telecommunications and Technology policy as well as New Media. Nate Powell is a New York Times best-selling comic book artist/writer whose work includes the critically acclaimed "Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole" (winner of the Eisner Award and Ignatz Award, finalist for the LA Times Book Prize), "The Year of the Beasts," "The Silence of Our Friends" and "Sounds of Your Name." He is currently drawing the graphic novel adaptation of Rick Riordan’s #1 international bestseller "Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero" and is working on his own forthcoming graphic novel "Cover."

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Amy R McGuigan

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