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tv   Andrew Aydin L. Fury and Nate Powell Run  CSPAN  September 18, 2021 8:01am-9:01am EDT

8:01 am here's a look at the late civil rights leader john lewis. >> welcome and goodevening . on behalf of harvard
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bookstore i'm delighted to introduce this virtual event with andrew aydin, nick powell and l. fury celebrating the release of their book run. thank you so much for joining us virtually tonight . harvard bookstore continues to bring authors and their works from communities and our new digital community during this time . our event schedule is here on our website and you can sign up for newsletters for more updates. please do check it out. this evening's discussion will include some time for questions. anytime during the talk tonight click on the button at the bottom of the screen and wewill get through as many as time allows . you may purchase book 1 as well as links to the book series. contributions make events like tonight possible and thank you so much for showing up and tuning in in support
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of our authors and the incredible staff of booksellers . we appreciate your support now and always. technical issues may arise and if they do we will do our best to correct them as quickly as possible. thank you for your patience and understanding and i'm honored to introduce our speakers. andrew aydin is an award-winning comics writer and was policy advisor to john lewis and his co-author in march. he's assisted at washington dc and north carolina. allen. as a lifelong resident of houston texas. she shifted her sites to longform comics. ron is her first graphics novel. nate powell is a national book award-winning cartoonist whose work includes, again, steve jobs and the silence of
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our friends. she received the robert f kennedy book award, the comic con international inkblot award, 2 ignatz awards. anthony dixon has been a firefighter for 30 years with congressman john lewis's nephew. and jerry cox is a new york times best-selling author whose work includes the newberry award-winninggraphic novel . he's an award-winning syndicated comic strip and he's 15 african-american literary awards and is cofounder of the schaumburg centers comic book festival. tonight he will be discussing the first volumeof his anticipated sequel to their march series . this installment of their graphic retelling of john lewis's great story follows him through the aftermath of the voting rights campaign and counterculture of the
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people in the 60s. as stacy abrams says, ron becomes a history of what to often follows dramatic change . the pushback of those who received it and the resistance of those who believe change has not gone far enough . lewis story is a complicated narrative of redemption and an energetic voice of transformation in his young and extraordinary life. without further ado i'm excited toturn things over to our speakers. thank you . >> that evening everyone. excited to be here. so we've got a lot to talk about. i have 1000 questions for you and we will be taking questions from the audience. everyone ready? number one, how does this epic series start? i'm going to pose that to you and you can go around how you like. >> nobody has done more for comics getting into schools and libraries than i am good
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to be friends with ben you so i am grateful that you are kind enough to do this for us tonight and i just keep enough praise on you but your work is amazing. your spirit is amazing and i know i'm supposed to be talking about the book but i love you . >> so march started, ron started, all this started with a political campaign. i was serving on a reelection campaign in 2008 and it was a summer of change. barack obama had stuck with the democratic primaries but for john lewis it was a difficult time because people didn'tunderstand the breadth and depth of what he had done for the movement and what he had done afterward . we had a lot of meetings and talk and marketing bucks in suits and ties telling usthis consulting thing or whatever and we didn't have any answers .
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so it was, the campaign was almost over and we started talking about the staff was hanging out one night and we had a long day talking about what we were going to do after . some folks said i'm going to go to the beach and my parents and i said i'm going to go to dragon con. everybody laughed at me and there said they said, you're a nerd. then i heard lewis speak up and he said don't laugh, there's comic books during the movement and that was the first time i ever heard of the montgomerystory . comics had been my refuge. my father was an immigrant and comics have been a place where i could go to read about people doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do . it wasmy celebration in some ways .but when he told me that i read it immediately on the internet and i remember looking at this beautiful 16 page color comic book that
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was studio house style with an introduction of rosa parks and gandhi and nonviolent disobedience and i remember, we had all these conversations about how to teach john lewis's story and saying why is there not a john lewis comic book? if this had been done during the movement why can't we do it again now and there's so much story left to tell. we had another meeting and i raise my hand because that's how we still did it and said i think john lewis should write a comic book and everybody looked at me like i had had . he was sweet about it. he said maybe and he moved on and we all know what that means in politics. i just kept at it. i kept asking him i said why don't you write a comic book and finally one day we were campaigning and it was by his house and there was actually a thunderstorm.
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there was a flash of lightning and then there was a roll of thunder and there's only a few things in his life john lewis was ever afraid of snakes and thunderstorms . so he takes off at 65 years of age at a full sprint. we all died in as the rain starts to paddle on the roof and we're all sitting in their fogging up the windows and it's wet and one of the interns says ask him again so i did. and the congressman turns around and i don't know what changed his mind but i believe it was his wife lily who was a librarian. >> maybe it was the lightning also. >> maybe he was struck. he said i'll do it but only if you write it with me. that started this whole long journey that changed my life and i'm grateful that i have all these amazing collaborators and friends.
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that's how it all started. >> how skipped and asked how you put the team together and asked each team member if they grew up reading comics because i only read comics. i hated reading books but i could stay up reading marvel team up with spiderman. so you can introduce your team and their favorite comics and how you felt getting into this. >> i'll keep it chronological . i was the next man to join. congressman lewis and andrew worked on a rough draft in march. and we read the script over the course of maybe 2 years. a year and a half, something like that. i was just plugging away a couple of books and reading top shelf press release on their website one day and i said oh, this new press
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release about this new book march. i saw the staple of our publisher with congressman lewis and i said it's a great idea for a graphic novel. it never occurred to me because there was no artist listed in thepress release there was no artist yet so i said all right, back to work . i just put it behind me. fortunately a week or two later i started getting a call making sure i saw the pressrelease . and i said this is really with congressman lewis and andrew's hands but i want to suggest you try out for the role of artist and some of that has to do with stylistic and storytelling choices that i make . some of it was my ability to balance realistic and representational figure drawing and settings and locations with very subjective emotional,
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emotionally charged internal experiences i put in my book and that was a big part of young john lewis's story, the ways in which on a religious level as well as a fundamental moral level and as a young person that his exposure to the movement and to nonviolence was hitting on such a personal emotional level . my parents are from mississippi and you know, it cannot be overstated that simply having familiarity with the land, the topography, the plants, the food, the culture and having a working knowledge of the location that i would be drawing would help. so i did some demo pages for andrew and the congressman and after about two weeks we clicked reallywell and moved straight ahead .
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then in 2016 i finished work on march book 3 which was thankfully chopped up into a trilogy was not only beneficial for the life and the scope and scale of march but also was like, in some ways it hurts our sanity in other ways it was really early on very helpful not to be making this 600 pray of the book. we got book one, that's going in the can. but after 2016, i knew that i had wanted to and had to be involved with this project as it moves forward but basically i had two other graphic novels i put on hold for a few years and their time had come it was time to hit the books which brings us to the fury. >> this is your first graphic novel and you came on for a
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run. what was it like coming in at such a legendary start? you'd see these great things coming and say over to you, what was that like ? >> intimidating. it was a lot of, nate is a tough act to follow but it's also exciting. before this i always wanted to be in comics. it just wasn't working out, i got the office jobright out of college . and then i saved up enough money to take a chance on comics and i started out with a little web comic, kind of joking like cartoon strips. and then end of 2016, november to be specific i started feeling a little dissatisfied with the comics i was coming up with. it was silly and i didn't feel happy with what i was contributing to the world.
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that's when i submitted into more serious comics and i started making a media pitch for one of my own graphic novels and they saw that pitch. i got an email saying would you be interested in another project and i said yeah, sure. they called up and said it was asequel to mark and i said oh my god . it was intimidating. i've got to be honest. i almost said no. my boyfriend was like, you have to say yes to this. >> i can imagine both in subject matter but also that it had won every award there is. >> i said oh my god, i'm going to mess this up. but it was such a great experience. i am glad i accepted it. it was awesome.
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>> anthony, do you want to hop in and tell me if you were a comics reader as a kid and how you felt when you saw the finished product of the congressman's life in graphic novel form? >> absolutely. i never once picked up a common book ever. i watched a whole lot of cartoons and my aunt used to always make us read. and probably in older life, in my 20s i was working with a guywho read comics all the time . and they were just around and i would pick it up and read it. use a silver surfer back in the green room i kind of was dating that because i worked on the beach for seven years and i was one of those guys where he serves, i kind of dig it but when growing up, i used to watch cartoons and stuff like that but when you look at a book that and have someone who you finalized all
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your life yesterday, nate said he was doing comics, reading comics here. when i was there that march and i saw one of my people on this comic, i was sold. it was something that wasn't like created and this guy went into a bar and the next and you know he's flying through the sky. no, this guy walked through alabama. i was pretty stoked to read the book and stuff like that. growing up, i can honestly say i didn't pick up comic books but i really do enjoy themnow . >> as i was reading it, i guess because the graphic novel form and because of the
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whole superhero notion because i wished at any moment i could shoot i-beams out and get out of certain predicaments. back to andrew. what kind of relationship did you have working with the congressman? how often did he talk, what was that process like? >> we kind of got it down to a little bit of the science. we had our functioning routine but by this point i think the hardest part about this was the actual research. the congressman's memory is fantastic. that was always a joke among his colleagues from the movement. if you wanted to know the answer you ask john lewis. i interview him and themost important part of the narrative is in his voice . he's such an oral storyteller . how many of us remember the chicken story? that's just an iconic part of him.
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some of those chickens were a little little bit more productive and my colleagues in the congress, at least they produce eggs. no offense to congress, that's one of john lewis's jokes. he has this specific cadence and he has ways of saying things. i think it's easy for people to kind of gloss over that. they want to i don't know how you put it but they kind of want to smooth it out so that it represents their ear but this is a way of speaking that the congressman had growing up in the 40s and 50s in rural alabama. so that part of it, there's one where when he talks about the first anniversary of selma and i asked him and i said did much happen? he said i don't think there was much of a to do made and it's that. capturing that voice. you got the next level where
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you have to go through the primary sources and reconstruct the blocking and the events themselves and who said what because they kept incredible records that we were able to use alot of primary sources . that's the thing that from my small lane in this that i'm most proud of is we were able to create a true nonfiction graphic novel so that every clothing cited is possible. they have these big debates then how do you re-create that? how do you know what they said in those late-night meetings but they had such a good system for this that they were keeping meeting minutes and they were able to use those meeting minutes and know who said what in the course of the argument. that means that the discussions that you're witnessing in the book are actually the discussions that they had . we had to abridge them somewhat because there was a lot of people for the narrative sake we have to keep it smooth but in terms of what they said when they said and how they said it, that we had all this access
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to these documents and were able to re-create. so from the john lewis perspective the fun part for me is that i give him back a script and then find these historicalnuggets . you could see him or hear him, i call him on the phone or show it to him and see him in the office and he would just, you can almost see him go back in time and relive that moment and it would trigger these memories and he could feel the emotion coming off him like he was back there. and i miss that. that was the thing that was so much fun about doing this was that shared face and that shared brain that we got to inhabit where you know, i could make fun of him sometimes and just the way he would say i never did that and i would say stuff it, boy
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and it was awesome. for all the other things that were goingon , everything else. it was our own little special world. and i just really miss it. >> how early on did you decide this would take three books to capture it all? >> for march? that's a funny story. it may and i were, con in 2012 and we had our first ashcan so nate got his books out and i'm proud, i have my first ashcan ,. it's going to be big and all the comic book creators are being sweet about it. your civil rights graphic novel is going to be huge. and so we were sitting at the booth i remember and aydin
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was like dude, this is going to take me years todraw. i said i don't think we have years . i was like, what if we split it into 2? he says that's a lot. well what about three? maybe we could do that. friend from there i'm like we will write it into one volume and call it a trilogy and see what happens. part of what is in "run" is what we cut to make it a trilogy. so it was really nate telling me the business. how long it takes them to draw and what's reasonable to correct. john lewis, remember he had worked for by the 2012 he worked for 4 years to get to that point to have a publisher. you and i have the same experience of saying no, no, that will never work and later being what genius idea. then you're like, thanks. it was really nate who helped
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me understand how much to get done and giving me the opportunity torework it when the congressman into a single volume . >> ahead. >> i was going to say as far as that moment of transition into what became run, that was through drawing book 3. at a furious pace. just an absolute blur of nine months. and in the middle of it, we were having these sort of daily check ins and one of those is like, have you got the cover done? we need to start talking about mid 65, going into 68. you know, is this march book 4, the tone is so much more different and it involves so much more loss. it involves someone carving their own path. i think we were talking about
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the higher concept before we were talking about the practical issues and the big question was is it or is it not a march book? we ultimately kind of had to pass that ball back to congressman lewis as we were discussing it. the bottom lot line was that trilogy worked and importantly from congressman lewis perspective as he states at the end of march book 3 the signing of the voting rights act was the end of the movement as he knew it and he tried to be very upfront that this was his sick suggestive for first person account and it doesn't mean the work is over. victories are victories but it doesn't mean the final victory has been one so let's take him on that and let's make that the end of "march" and that frees us to make "run" into something vastly different if it needs to be. >> one of the things is to me
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the books read like a movie. like, there's a lot going on quickly and it's an edge of your seat kind of thing. so the interaction between the visuals, i commend you nate and fury. let's talk about some of the artistic parts. the conscious effort between doing black and white versus color and also , of you having to look at that style and then bring what you bring up your own artistic sensibilities too. so if either of you can start that. >> i guess i'll start and i'm going to move it onover to fury. this is really furious book . i had previously, previous to march i had done a book called silence is our friend was set in houston texas against a backdrop of a
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forgotten chapter of civil rights movement history. and a lot of my process on the page for the silence of our friends functioned as a boot camp for being able to tackle "march" and one of the things i worked out was working ingray wash . so on a fundamental level i feel like anybody was born after the 1960s relates to history prior to 1970 in black and white. take emily people's movement of the 1950s and 60s. from my rudimentary education in music as a kid in the 80s to making deeper dives. we all relate to the photography and the grainy footage of black and white so instead of trying to fight that , it's important to be like this is how we are processing this history in our minds.
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virtually all of us so just go with it. there were practical concerns like it takes twice as long for me to hand paint something in full color and what value does it really have, virtually none? thankfully black and white is still kind of the gold standard in graphic novels and graphic no art so it's nice not to get hung up on that and just go with black andwhite and it works . >> so fury, you've been tasked into your transition. >> so it was difficult to bridge that gap between nate's style and my own but in the end i ultimately just decided to draw it like my instincts told me to draw it. although what i did learn from nate is just the quick
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expressive lines and it's not something that i naturally do but it makes for such good action on page and such good emotion and great backgrounds that i did try to carry that over because it made the process a little faster. and you know, just to make it a cohesive piece. black and white, that was a decision nate made and one that i suffered for . i'm sure you know jerry, black and white is challenging as you can't bring out color or put a splash of color here to lead the eye this way . you're surely working with light and form. it was tough and i had done black and white before but it was digital so it took infinite time. it was a learning curve but i
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guess another thing i did to bridge the gap was in my process i specifically was already thinking traditionally but i hadn't done black and white ink washes before. that was something i learned on the job. >> you finish, i've got another one. >> i still did keep digital art in my process but i like to do my sketches in pencils digitally because you can move things around. you can resizethings if you need . i'm not great at nailing the layout on the first go. i'msure no one is . i would print the pencils out very faintly on paper and then ink on top of that and just remove the rest like you would usually.
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>> you had to go through so much reference material cause so many actual people, if i want a character i just make them up but there's a scene where there's harry belafonte or miriam bell, you had to go in and find reference material. >> .. that is somewhere which was hopeful for me because i couldn't hyperfocus on trying to get that face right and then it was big on paper, i can do this more expressive lines to finish it out. >> anthony, when you wrote the
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books how much was new information to you? how much did you actually learn and were you surprised by any of it are were you familiar with most of the stories? >> i would say i learned a lot but that was a few of the stories that were kind of familiar. it actually enhanced the stories more because being a kid and you would hear the stories, you would hear different stories on different things in -- i'm sorry, events, usually it would be because it was another story that brought that story about. one of the stories that i would like to tell is my son, he was watching the freedom riders documentary, and so i had him go
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back and read the story about the freedom riders. he called me up and he was crying one night and he said, dad, i did know that uncle john was beaten. i said, yeah. i said, what else? he goes, he was arrested, too. and i go, yeah. so we fast-forward to a few years ago when we were in atlanta in my uncles home, some uncle comes back and he's back in from d.c. and comes out of his office, and it's kind of funny because you think about all that he's done and everywhere that is traveled and all pretty relatively unknown. it comes i got out of his office with pajama pants on and the catch this is a pork thing for myself on the sun and were in the kitchen. so we're sitting there talking, stuff like that in my uncle is like him he's like young brother, how are you? are you doing?
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good. he's got these big wide eyes. he's looking at him and he says, i look at them and i could ask him. he goes no, no, no. i said, dude, ask him. and so he kind of sits up and he goes, what was it like? and so uncle john says well, what was what like? and he goes, well, when you were beaten. and he goes oh, young brother, let me tell you. he started talking about like selma and montgomery and all these different places. and as we were talking my son is getting tears in his eyes and he's been speaking about all the stuff. he says this writer, this is from when i got beaten, and tell him the story. and my son, it was a moment because here he is in pajamas and a t-shirt and telling this story, but it's stories that you
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read about, in march and it's really touching when you see those two sitting at the kitchen table talk about all the different things that happened throughout history. to me it was an actual, a moment, pretty cool. >> so andrew, nate in theory, i know when you get into project you really dive into it and give it all you've got but some of the things he had to write about and rob were just horrific events, like did that kind of take a toll on you? did you lose sleep? like what was that like? >> you definitely developed, you kind of have to reset yourself, like remember what your job actually is. i think in a lot of ways like it help me to remember that congressman chose me to tell this history through his eyes in
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his words, and a lot of that applies not only to violence but to just like verbal, just like racist attacks, just being the white but at the drawing table and being like, i've got a job to do, it's my job to do it right. and a lot of times yeah, like it was learning to trust yourself, timed like just go pet your cat can be done for the day, a couple hours early. usually that was like march book two, that had some rough spots for me but at the end of the day it really comes back around to recognizing how you're going to be at the best spot at the drawing table to deliver what you need to deliver but also bringing some of that whole or in shock and hurt and shame on to the page. that has a lot of value in terms of being able to tell someone
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else's story as they feel it needs to be told. so that's not necessarily an injection of self into the story but that's recognizing like as artists the feelings that we're getting from these accounts and from this history that has enough power and the power can be detected hopefully within the artwork itself. >> did it make you look at your surroundings a little differently? because you said you grew up in mississippi. >> i think like in the most general sense, like i feel like when i i did the preliminary researching and rereading and really dive into congressman lewis is story to prepare to drop march, that came at the end of a couple years in which i was really, like i live in the lower midwest in southern india for 17 years now and so it took me
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several years to actually recognize how many different dimensions of american racism exist. i feel like i didn't recognize the depth of my own baggage, even by coming from a point where thanks to the x-men and pumped in the '90s awakening my social concepts and thankfully didn't lead to a very strong antiracist egalitarian standpoint early, there still a lot of baggage and a lot of assumptions that were carried from baby boomers into my generation, and a lot of those assumptions and that baggage had not get an impact. my parents are cool but specifically like march book two is the really hard and
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kickstarter conversations with them is 70-year-olds about the kinds of complicity in the kind of ignorance they had my coming-of-age at the end of jim crow mississippi. so yeah, like it had a pretty deep personal impact over the course of several years. >> okay. fury? >> yeah, it's a deeply emotional space two to have for so lor sure. i had drawn violence before. i've had to look up what does a shotgun wound a look like, and that's difficult but it's like not even complicated compared to when you are drawing real people, when you're studying someone's face from a few different angles and you are trying to get them -- you can form an attachment to them. throughout this process you are always, you google and open up
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another window and a person always comes up is birthdate to death date, and there was this very palpable sense of relief sometimes when sometimes i would see that there lived a long time, because you were just so, i was just so used to seeing people dying young. it was emotional, for sure. yeah. just doing this project at the end of every day i've never watched more garbage television than what i worked on "run" because i needed to like at the end of that just like release all that. >> and that's the thing, people think that it was so long ago but my own dad talked about drinking out that the white water fountain and being chased and things like that. so i'm one generation removed from that, you know?
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>> yeah. you know, i think i kind of, when i used, when i would watch historical things about that point in history, i think you kind of form this invisible armor where you see it and you assume that maybe it was exaggerated for like narrative purposes. but when you have come when you are drawing from a photo of three activists that are dead in a ditch, it's like oh, yeah, this is all real. and they knew that i am like in sense that i didn't, you really like no things when you're just kind of, i don't know, when you are engaging with this for ten hours a day. >> now, the biggest thing and i know we got only a couple minutes i think. lauren will come on and some
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audience questions but for the three of you there are scenes where if you put in color and change the names it's right out of today's headlines. does it make you see things differently now when you see the news about police brutality, systemic racism, the voting acts rights, you know, being changed so many different places? what does that do to you like in today's headspace? >> when you see the context of today it just made this work so much more important to us to do right and to do well because we are to get that context to everyone. i remember we were working on these stories and i would learn something new and do something that really struck me. i would be angry because i wasn't taught in school. or i i would be angry becauseo one had explained to me that this is the way it was,
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especially in the post-obama era when we're talking about being a postracial society and the congressman would come you don't say come walk in my shoes and i'll show you change. but reading the stories and putting them together in re-creating them it may be angry because i always wanted to know why, if i grew up in atlanta i was in his district and he was by congress in such three years old, i went to atlanta public schools. where was this education? i didn't learn in college. why is this history being kept from us? when we see it in today's context it's only because we happen taught it to everyone that people are shocked by it. >> yeah. >> everyone knew this history, everyone would say okay this is part of a long centuries long systemic racist policy and system that has existed in this country without fail.
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now i think what we're seeing in some ways is the volume being turned up on perceiving it, not that it misses joe is happening more. it is now were able to perceive it whether it's the internet, whether it's the ubiquitous, ubiquity of camera phones being able to record these incidents of violence. we're seeing, it's like the rodney king affect. once that was recorded in the talked about there was this shock but it wasn't new. as we look at it now we all should be angry that we should be working to make sure that every young person learns this history so that they are not shocked when this happens. they are motivated to act to do something about it and do in this cycle. >> and also specifically that we were talking about like young people seeing other young people doing something about it in the
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2010s and 2020s. it's also important to recognize that yes, like the civil rights movement got so much of its organizing strength and many of its number specifically from young people including, like children's children getting involved because they needed to and had to. that is such a strong precedent. >> so how do you feel about this book? have you seen it being used in school curriculum? >> yeah, that's the nuts things. we're getting tweets the other day consumers like here's my new syllabus. the book is been out the week. that's why we do this, feel smug oco that's what he was so proud of. before march, before "run" there was some sicko benign word problem. the southern poverty law center . a survey that found most students graduate from high school only knowing nine words about the civil rights movement. and for us that was the goal to
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attack that into eliminate that problem and i think now that march is taught just about every major school system in america it's not that we fixed it but we've made a major league. as a congressman would say we made a major down payment on change and so i think saying "run" now being added to the curriculum in some places i think new york city has added it to the curriculum other school systems will be doing it soon that gives me hope because we talk about we see these memory loss coming into effect around the country. in texas, in georgia where they don't want, where they're trying to without explicitly saying march there trying to bend the teaching of this time and most of that involves using march in the classroom. we've got to be active, we've got to fight back. there's reason that never attacked march director e they know it's too powerful but we've got to keep pushing to get these into schools and teach this portion of history because otherwise they're going to wipe it out and then use the tools and tactics of the city that the
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white supremacist use at the used under jim crow against us in the modern era. >> as anthony was saying to a stuff didn't learn in school and now to have it not only in school but also as a graphic novel that has so much information and also graphic novel kind of reached at motivational learners as well, like i don't say reluctant readers but bring that in an action like wow, okay i'm going to learn more about these people. you mention stokely carmichael, who sat? the black panther party. what's that about? >> real quick because i know our time is short but something when andrew mentioned, con i had to talk about how my uncle was so excited about comic-con in the human use, con and how we walked around comic-con with an overcoat and backpack on.
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it was afterwards when he talked about that so much that was an inspiration because i have a lot of coworkers who have young kids, and so many of my coworkers sons and daughters were asking, oh, my god, that's your uncle, that your uncle. instead of sending them gift cards and stuff i will send him copies of march, the trilogy of march one, two and three because these young kids today had an interest that much, they got a book. they got a book. he was so happy after march because my cousin was just talking about it and how much he enjoyed being out there and how much all these kids followed him around. i just want to throw that part out there about comic-con and how he was like, he was totally
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digging it. >> very cool. sort by the end fellow graphic novelist is on the wants to know if "run" is a trilogy? >> i think we got -- thanks for the easy question, joel. i designed it when the congressman and i've laid out this story. it was as a trilogy but i think we got to come to what we call a quaker consensus on what we do next. we worked so hard to get this book done and to do it right up until the congressman past, it hurt, you know, it was deeply painful to lose him and to go through this. i think we just have to decide once we get through this, once we talk about the book and get through this too and all that sort of stuff, we'll come back together and we'll think about
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it. i don't know what the right thing to do is yet, and for right now it's just this book. if we decide something to become if we come to a consensus on and everyone wants to do it we will do it. if it's the right thing to do. that's the ultimate question. >> got it. with the plant and they shall have been to the present day? one of the things i liked about march book two is the inner spicing of seeing barack obama accepting the presidency. so with this have come up in to the present day do you think? >> ben wittes come up, the third book is supposed be the 86 campaign, the political nerd in me was just dying to write that. it's really the trilogy was supposed to be about her a relationship between john lewis and julian bond. you can't understand the politics and the self pic you can't understand black politics in this country without understanding the relationship between those two men. julian bond gets nominated for
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the vice president when he is too young to accepted in 1960. becoming more famous than john lewis was even though john lewis had been the most well-known figure after selma, right? and this relationship you see it in "run." we're setting it all up pics of them at the end of the next book john those writes a letter to julian saying you should run for the fifth district seat in georgia. julian openly said no, i'm not going to. that's when andy young goes to run, then john lewis, juul'ing come back and run against each other and 86. 86. it's like a real-life opera, right? it was a meaningful to me that i do with julian because i get to see the congressman and julian reconcile. i got to be within. julian called my phone to get to the congressman. i was given the messages. i have this old voicemail from juul'ing before he passed were
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called to wish the congressman a happy birthday. i get to see, i told the story i saw julian with the congressman in texas in 2014 and he comes up to me and he goes, so you did that comic book. well, i did it first. they were just this incredible pair, and it's amazing. i note this in the endnotes of "run." the reason sncc records are not as well kept after like at the outset of 66 and onward is because julian left. you see the sncc student voice become less and less frequently published. it's things like that and that was the idea, that was the underpinning. i think if john lewis and julian were still with us what to think that would've made. >> i think we have time for one more quick one. how to decide on the title? what i first read the title "run" ice and does not john
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lewis for office. >> sorry, guys, i really want nate and fury have one regression after that if it's at all possible. >> let me explain this real quick. the idea was john lewis was an activist first and then he became a public servant. it was to get people about that, right? first you march as the activist, then you run as a public servant. john lewis spent his whole life trying to guarantee the rights to vote for anyone. we also wanted was more, more empathetic, better public servants and that's what the title was really about. this is john lewis is long run, how we became a public servant after being an activist. >> got it, okay. fury, what do you think of this kind of graphic memoir brings to the table in terms of engaging readers different than text only books, or in terms of reaching different audiences?
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>> i think it's so important because i'm a person who my reading comprehension is not great, but reading march for the first time that was, it was such a great experience. i feel like if all of my textbooks in school had been graphic novels i would be a lot better educated. yeah, i kind of lost the question because my memory sucks, too. >> just in terms of what a graphic novel brings to the table as opposed to text only, but you answered it because you said if you had them when you were a kid you probably would have a history. >> yeah, , yeah. and i think this is such an important story to bring to a wide audience to the graphic novel reaches. nate or andrew or anthony did you ever see any other graphic nonfiction that kind of inspired
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you? >> yeah, i would say the books which impacted me the most, this is me looking off-camera at my bookshelf, that sort of paved the way, like obviously you got like the classics and the big three of the comics canon, like obviously mouse persepolis laid a lot of groundwork but i think specifically it goes all the way from using more formal, using some of the more formal choices that like scott macleod what it set up in understanding comics in making comics but then also going into more personal territory like with john personally know very minimalist buddhist inspired narratives, right on, yes. and then like in terms of modern nonfiction comics essays, other peers for my generation i would say that like one of the bigger early influences would be a
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cartoonist miriam levitsky who's mostly done a lot of shorter essays and stuff and has a graphic book but i think her sort of blending of new journalism into these kind of family and identity narratives and are very like studious i for detail and history really showed me around like 2010, 2011 i really powerful example of how to layout the kind of storytelling that i wound up doing with march that required obviously blending. that was my own kind of intuitive dreamy storytelling, to. >> the black panther party by david walker. >> excellent, excellent. >> also the big when i showed the congressman back in the day was kyle baker, a diary of nat turner. >> absolutely.
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>> that was foundational in terms of telling black history through comics. there was also -- >> no words at all, correct? >> well, there is nerdy but not in the same way. and then there's also -- shoot, i'm forgetting his name but the guy who did the king comics. he's your friend. >> anderson. >> that's right that's right. i do show the congressman all these books when we were talking about it just to give a sense. the other when we talked about, wasn't necessarily nonfiction but it was incognita growth by matt johnson. >> oh, yeah, absolutely. >> i could say for a guy who was a non-comic reader, all the books that i've read so far have been, they have been, so i hate to say like easy read but for me
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it's been great because when i've read they have been training manuals or they have been something that's been given to me at school. but when i picked up the graphic novels kind of interested to explore other ones. like when the folks are looking at this and they're thinking about graphic novels, i was like i like it. i think they're excellent. being on this virtual tour with these amazing folks here, i can't wait to read mates book. i was telling alexander earlier today i'm going to get it. they made me a comic reader. >> thank you, anthony. i'll send you a package, man. >> sweet. i'll drop you that address purchaser but he knows nate book is save it for later. nate, could you hold it up? >> hold it up close to the camera. >> there you go.
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>> so basically a mix of memoir nsa that is also nonfiction that mostly covers the last five or six years of being alive in america filtered through the lens of parenthood and like breaking down what we've all been through at a level that four four to eight year olds can process even though it is infinitely darkened complex. >> got it. let me know and i will swap you. >> ride on. >> so i think mom is about to come on and say it's time to cut the lights out and go to bed. lauren, you want to come on and talk about where they can order their copies from the harvard book store? >> i just want to thank you all so much for participating in this thoughtful wonderful discussion. thank thank you, jerry, forr moderation. please learn more about this fantastic book and purchase "run: book one" at harvard book
9:00 am thank you all so much for joining us tonight. on behalf of harvard book store here in cambridge, massachusetts, have a good night, keep reading and please be well. thank you so much, everyone. >> and fight by joel christin gilbert w booktv, television for serious readers. >> good morning, everyone and welcome to the american enterprise institute. look at your in person just in those joining us online at and on our youtube channel this morning. i'm mackenzie eaglen, a senior fellow at aei for quite some time. it's my pleasure to welcome major general retired arnold punaro a good friend and colleague of mine for many years to aei to launch his latest book, it's not his


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