Activism Comics History

Read Good Trouble

Read Good Trouble by Christopher Noxon

Good Trouble is the helpful antidote to all the pessimism and name-calling that is permeating today’s political and social dialogues. Revisiting episodes from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, it highlights the essential lessons that modern-day activists and the civically minded can extract and embrace in order to move forward and create change. In words and vivid pen-and-watercolor illustrations, journalist Christopher Noxon dives into the real stories behind the front lines of the Montgomery bus boycott and the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins and notable figures such as Rosa Parks and Bayard Rustin, all while exploring the parallels between the civil rights movement era and the present moment. This thoughtful, fresh approach is sure to inspire conversation, action, and, most importantly, hope.

Really enjoyed this illustrated book drawing lessons from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. It tells the story of everyday activists and how they fit into the movement, and is empowering and hopeful while acknowledging that all the bad shit is still happening and the struggle never ended. A good read for me right now with the stress of world events weighing on my anxiety.

The sketchy art style is unassuming and lively, a good fit for the serious subject matter not to be tied to exact realism.

The chapters / lessons:

  • Be brave
  • Get organized
  • Be bold
  • Have faith
  • Be nonviolent
  • Lead!
  • Keep focus
  • Be joyous
Activism Memoir

Read Run: Book One

Read Run

To John Lewis, the civil rights movement came to an end with the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. But that was after more than five years as one of the preeminent figures of the movement, leading sit–in protests and fighting segregation on interstate busways as an original Freedom Rider. It was after becoming chairman of SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and being the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. It was after helping organize the Mississippi Freedom Summer and the ensuing delegate challenge at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. And after coleading the march from Selma to Montgomery on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” All too often, the depiction of history ends with a great victory. But John Lewis knew that victories are just the beginning.

It’s upsetting how relevant this is in 2021, 57 years after the start of the book. The barrage on equal voting rights is relentless and endless.

Meticulously researched and reconstructed. I’m less familiar with this time period than I was with the events in March, so I appreciated the context setting and big picture.

The thruline on this one isn’t as clear as in March, but focuses on the change in the movement away from non-violence as Black people are murdered needlessly and ruthlessly, while John Lewis remains committed to peaceful protest and resistance.