Dear Mr.John Lewis:
As I read the beginning of the book, it felt as if I was taking a walk through each event. Nate Powell’s illustrations of the church bombing left me feeling scared and afraid. The tragic deaths of Virgil Ware and Johnny Robinson shook me to my core as they seemed like headlines I could find in the news today. Seeing the Birmingham Terminal reminded me of the success that had been made before, then seeing the aftermath of the bombing showed me there was a long way to go. Dr.King’s speech at the funeral of the four children who tragically lost their lives and his promise to Diane Nash to do something reinvigorated me and filled me with hope. When I saw the inauguration of President Barack Obama, I knew even if we as African Americans didn’t reach our goal, we were close.
Seeing the father of McNair expressing anguish at the loss of his daughter stayed with me. The contrast between the father saying “I’d like to blow the whole town up” and his still-living daughter repeatedly saying “No” made me think that it was meant to express the divide between the major groups in the civil rights movement. Denise’s father was meant to represent the more extreme groups, his larger and clearer speech bubble and what he says is used to express the more violent tendencies of those groups. Her sister was meant to represent the mainstream non-violent movement. Her speech bubbles being more muddied but persisting for a long time shows the success of the campaign.
The violence towards African Americans is a problem that has yet to be solved. The only answer I found is a full reform of the Justice System.
Henry (CJ) Dodson