Dear Mr. Lewis,
Sadly, your book has now come to an end. You ended the final chapter by bringing up a few events. You brought up the peaceful protest that occurred outside the city jail in which the police abruptly showed up and turned everything violent. There, Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot and murdered. In class, we related this back to Mike Brown: an innocent African American man who was shot and killed by police. We saw that the two deaths weren’t that different which only shows how much America has really changed. Barely. After this protest, you also left the SNCC. You said it no longer represented what you stood and fought for. I agree with your decision. They didn’t see how peaceful protests were effective but in a way, I can understand. After so many peaceful protests, and so many mishaps from them (the uncalled violence inflicted by police), you get tired. That’s kind of what happened. Once you left the SNCC, you staged several protests around Alabama one of which was “Bloody Sunday”. Though I wasn’t there to witness it, just by reading and looking at the pictures, I could imagine how brutal, violent, and vicious the event was. The imagery was pretty intense. All I could see was red; not just because of the blood, but because of anger and hatred. Anger because of how disgusting these white officers were and hatred because of how bad they wanted you all dead. They hated black people that much and basically wanted them “exterminated”. Here, you were also brutally beaten by a police officer and put in the hospital. For that, I am so sorry. You didn’t deserve that especially when all you wanted were equal rights for black Americans. The story ends when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was written and put into effect. I was overjoyed when this occurred because I remember learning about it in my history classes so to read about it as if I was there was pretty amazing.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your third book, March. It made me feel many emotions: sad, tearful, angry, happy, ecstatic, and broken. It really is crazy to see how much we have evolved as a nation but at the same time, sad to see how at times, we are still stuck. Racism still thrives, and white supremacy lives on.
Some questions I have are, what made you keep going especially during times when you felt like you had nothing left to offer and how did you know that you were going to be okay once leaving the SNCC? I know that was a huge thing for you to do especially since you were so connected to them.
Similar to my other letters, I still believe that not much can be done to end discrimination in America. It is literally everywhere and is imprinted in our minds. However, a step in the right direction could start with higher individuals in office or government taking a stand against inequality, ending all support of hate groups and treating all civil cases as they would a white male. Sadly, this is my last letter to you, so to close I would like to thank you for what you have done for African Americans and for me. Thank you for paving the way for us.