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Election 2016

Educating Trump Supporters With "March"

March illustrator Nate Powell hopes Congressman John Lewis’ Civil Rights graphic novel can explain the protections now at risk with a Trump presidency. "Finding the underlying humanity that links us is really hard to do today."

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Today’s outpouring of despair among Clinton supporters prompted artist Nate Powell to engage a more educational activism—offering to give away free sets of the March trilogy, Congressman John Lewis' best-selling civil rights graphic novel that Powell illustrated.

The trilogy, co-written by Andrew Aydin, chronicles Lewis’ experiences in the Civil Rights battle of the early 1960s, which has become more relevant in the wake of the nation’s current divisiveness and contentious election. March: Book Three is up for a National Book Award next week.

Nate Powell

"If you have a friend or loved one who chose to vote against the last 60 years of progress, but who comes from a place of apathy, actual ignorance (not to ever be confused with stupidity), or just not realizing what they've done, I'm giving out March trilogies free today for those loved ones of yours," he posted on Facebook. "Let's continue to do what we can."

Folks claimed the 15 book sets within 10 minutes—at a $500 cost to Powell—and more are for sale at Top Shelf Productions. It’s a modest nod to the beginnings of creative push-back at the individual and grass-roots levels.

"There’s been a feeling of helplessness and confusion to find some way forward," says Powell. "It’s about little ways of finding cracks in the structure. It revolves around thinking creatively and not undervaluing small gestures into larger tactical strategic movements.

"There are Trump supporters who voted for the man who are not coming not from a place of explicit embrace or alignment, but from a place of legitimate dissatisfaction," he adds, "But they don’t understand what they just signed on for and how this administration’s policies are going to work against all of us."

Powell believes such Trump supporters might be more inclined to listen if family members and loved ones deliver these books in the hope of driving home the "long, slow, struggle to ensure 60 years of gradual progress, which is now at risk, and the ways we’ve fought to ensure a basic level of civil protection for anyone who is an `other’ in our society.

"I'm trying hard on this day-after to get this negative energy rooted into something constructive," says Powell. "This is a little thing, but if there are 15 people whose minds might be opened or advanced to realize their choice might have long-lasting consequences…that’s why we spent so many years working on the March story, and these are the people who need to read and absorb it.

"Find the underlying humanity that links us is really hard to do today."

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