Get up America | Le Club

Direct continuation of the trilogy Wake up America (March in VO) this diptych was completed just before the death of John Lewis in 2020. As with the first series, the publisher has changed the title Run in Get up America. Notable thing, if it is shorter, this first volume includes an important final documentary book containing an impressive bibliography, audiovisual sources and speeches testifying to the monumental work of documentation and explanations on the work of adaptation of the memoirs of Lewis in comic media. This enrichment greatly increases the added value of this documentary whose first trilogy was already a monument of history.

After the adoption of Voting right act de 1965 (which is currently strongly questioned by the States of the South since the presidency of Donald Trump) the segregationist society did not lower its arms and strove to demonstrate that there was a world between the Law and the practice of the Law, abusing the constitutional autonomy of the American states which wash their hands of federal laws when they bother them too much. The North, embarked on the intervention in Vietnam, does not wish to get too involved in the defense of populations that it considers basically as foreign. Faced with the exactions of the KKK, the non-violent ideological harmony which prevailed in the wake of Martin Luther King quickly cracked and saw the appearance of a separatist current proclaiming the Black Power which was embodied in a radical political party which would soon be called black panther party

When the album opens nothing seems to have changed, showing that the objective of the authors is not to create a story but to report specific events. This creates a documentary complexity already seen in the previous triptych when political debates begin between supporters of different lines of conduct. In any movement of struggle there are disagreements and that of civil rights did not escape this with the striking appearance – and traumatic for Lewis – of the Black Panthers who assumed the separation between two American peoples, the refusal to submit to white domination, the affirmation of black pride (a principle that we find today in the fight for the rights of sexual minorities) and above all, the shift from an eminently Christian fight that started in the churches to a fight of the classes where blacks are considered the embodiment of the proletarian. The conscription for Vietnam was a trigger that marginalized the supporters of non-violence and decided to start the political struggle separately from the big Democratic Party.

It is always so fascinating to dive back into this not so distant history of an American nation which in these two decades emerged from a reactionary conservatism to open up to an ideal of melting pot. As the presence of war veterans (39-45 or Algeria at home) makes it possible to realize the shocking reality of what we are told, that of John Lewis (whose, let us remember, are memoirs) reminds us of every page that everything we’re shown went well, even if it’s hard to believe. Reading this dense comic strip, one still doubts having seen a black man spend eight years in the Oval Office only fifty years after these events, as this country comes from (very) far away. With this heritage, after Trump one wonders how this Nation manages to hold together. In the meantime, we eagerly await the conclusion of this series on the emergence of the black political movement.

Get up America #1/2
of John Lewis, Andrew Ayden and Nate Powell

Name of pages: 160 p.
Release date (France): February 16, 2022
Publisher: Rue de Sevres

Article originally published on the blog

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