MARCH: BOOK THREE
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Contemporary Issues Today in March Book Three
March is a trilogy co-written by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, with details about the struggle of activists during the Civil Rights Movement for African American. The books are a narration of life during this dark period, from John Lewis perspective, as one of the leaders of the activist movements. Book three is an account of the events that took place during the struggle for freedom by African Americans at a time when white supremacy was at its climax lives were lost before the fight for racial equality and against segregation bore fruit with the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. At the beginning of the book, the 16 Street Baptist Church is bombed, in Birmingham, Alabama, leading to the death of four girls in the congregation. The bomb attack came a few days after the then sitting governor of Alabama, George Wallace declared racial segregation of the African Americans (Lewis 18). Thereafter, chaos broke out in many parts of America as people demanded the immediate step-down of the governor and freedom of the black people in America.
As one of the references of an important period in American history, March Book Three is an important lesson on the importance of race even in todays politics in the United States. Years later after the abolishment of racial segregation, white supremacy still exists among leaders, basing political arguments on races, which is consequential to the political climate of the country, given that America is a multi-racial nation. It is crucial for todays generation to learn the pyrrhic victory experienced in the 1960s to keep racial segregation relevant, including bloodshed, and steer the political direction of the nation towards a non-racial basis. Activists like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr sought to use non-violent measures to force the hand of the white supremacists in securing the blacks voting rights, with measures like organizing mock elections in Mississippi to teach the people how to register for voting. However, these efforts were met with harsh measures including severe abuse of aspiring voters, for example, Fanny Lou Hamer and Bernard Lafayette, two blacks who were beaten for seeking to register as voters. Though at a great price, civil disobedience is applicable in achieving life-changing results offering lessons to todays generation who seek social change. Issues prompting action include the loss of lives through gun violence, a serious issue that often results in hot debates in the country though a delicate issue, gun violence can be solved through nonviolent measures.
As the struggle against segregation continued, two conventions including the Republican and the Democratic conventions were held in 1964 to negotiate voting rights and representation of the blacks in Congress (Lewis 116). In the meantime, people formed parties including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) to push for social change and though members faced a lot of brutality from the police, they persisted in hopes of a better future for their people. Despite the abolishment of segregation against races in America, there is still constant uproar against police brutality towards the blacks, prompting the formation of groups such as the Black Lives Matter Movement, drawing to memory the civil rights movement and the sacrifice involved, including the assassination of Dr. King.
Later on in 1965, Luther King together with the SNCC organized a nonviolent march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery in order to secure voting rights for the African Americans as previous efforts had borne no fruit because the blacks were deliberately disqualified as potential voters. The march which started out as peaceful turned bloody as the police attacked and injured protesters using clubs, teargas and other forms of weapons, attracting nationwide attention, on an event known as Bloody Sunday. Afterward, a federal judge Lewis, John.March. Top Shelf, 2016, pp. 1-256.and President Johnson ordered the protection of the protesters by the police and on March 21st, 1965 peaceful protesters began their march to the Capitol and on August 6th same year, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, granting everyone the freedom to register as a voter, thus began the long journey towards civil liberty in America.
Lewis, John.March. Top Shelf, 2016, pp. 1-256.
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