U.S. representative and civil-rights leader John Lewis will speak in Little Rock on April 27 as one of the featured authors during this year's Arkansas Literary Festival.
Lewis, a Democrat who has served Georgia's 5th District since 1987, will talk about his graphic-novel memoir, March: Book One, which was co-written by Andrew Aydin and drawn by North Little Rock native Nate Powell, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock said in a statement. The book, a New York Times bestseller, is the first of a planned trilogy of graphic novels about Lewis' life.
Lewis was one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, a group of activists who tested the U.S. Supreme Court's Boynton v. Virginia ruling, which ordered bus companies to integrate interstate transportation waiting rooms and restrooms, by riding buses into segregated areas of the South.
He continued his activism by leading and joining demonstrations and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March in Alabama, and was arrested 24 times during nonviolent protests. The director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he became the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington and the youngest member of the “Big Six” civil-rights leaders, a group that included Martin Luther King Jr. and the NAACP's Roy Wilkins.
Lewis will speak at 1:30 p.m. April 27 at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W. Ninth St. in Little Rock. The free, public event will be hosted by the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity and the cultural center.