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Minnesota County Attorney Swears Into Office on John Lewis’ March Graphic Novel

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Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty takes her oath of office on a copy of March, the autobiographical graphic novel co-written by John Lewis.

Mary Moriarty — the County Attorney of Hennepin County, Minnesota — took her oath of office on a copy of March, the award-winning autobiographical graphic novel co-written by late civil rights leader and U.S. congressman John Lewis.

During her swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 3, Moriarty placed her hand on a copy of March: Book One by Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. This is noteworthy, as in addition to being the first LGBTQ+ woman to be elected as Hennepin County Attorney, Moriarty is known for speaking out against racial bias in the criminal justice system. “I was blown away at this news!” the aforementioned Powell wrote in response. “I know John Lewis would’ve been beside himself, and would’ve said this was ‘the spirit of history at work.’ Deeply honored for our work to play this symbolic role.”

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March Tells John Lewis’ Story in Graphic Novel Form

Written by Lewis and Aydin and illustrated by Powell, March: Book One was initially published by Top Shelf Productions in 2013. March: Book Two followed suit in 2015, with March: Book Three rounding out the trilogy in 2016. The graphic novel series tells the story of Lewis’ time as a key figure in the civil rights movement.

In addition to being an original member of the Freedom Riders, Lewis served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and partook in the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965, during which he survived a violent beating by police. In 1986, Lewis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served 17 terms. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Lewis passed away in 2020 at the age of 80.

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All three entries in the March trilogy are critically acclaimed, award-winning titles. Book Three in particular became the first graphic novel in history to win a National Book Award upon its release in 2016. Lewis and Aydin also wrote a single-volume sequel graphic novel, titled Run, which was illustrated by L. Fury with contributions by Powell. Run was originally slated for release in 2018, though would not hit shelves until 2021 — one year after Lewis’ death. “In sharing my story, it is my hope that a new generation will be inspired by Run to actively participate in the democratic process and help build a more perfect union here in America,” Lewis said of Run in 2018.

Source: Twitter (1, 2)

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