Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    November 17, 2016 8:01pm-8:35pm EST

8:01 pm
a guest guest on booktv answer questions and comments from viewers. this is just over 30 minutes. cause cohen now joining us here live at the national book festival is congressman john lewis and his co-author, andrew aydin. here is the book, book three nominated for an national book award. congressman lewis with period of time does this book cover? >> guest: this book covered the latter part of my own involvement in the american civil rights movement. the lattr that was right after the march on washington, the bombing of the church in birmingham that took place on september the 15th, 1963 were four little girls were killed.
8:02 pm
the assassination of president kennedy, the beginning of the153 selma movement, mississippi freedom summer from 63 to 64, 65 it was some of the most dramatic point in the american civil rights movement. there was so much violence. there were so many beatings. some people were murdered but they never gave up, they never gave in. it was a period of sorrow but it was also a period of hope. if period of people believing and hanging in there, young people, people not so young, black people, white people, coming together literally putting their bodies on the line we witnessed a passage of the civil rights act, the voting
8:03 pm
rights act, and a lot of the signs that we had seen and witnessed came tumbling down. >> host: andrew aydin why graphic novel form for this book? >> guest: i think we were trying to reach another generation of his generation are digital natives. they speak in sequential storytelling. that's how they understand information so for me, i was a lifelong comic fan. when the congressman told me about a comic book called martin luther king and the montgomery story published in 1957 that sold for 10 cents am on i found out it's been edited by martin luther king jr. himself and used to inspire some of the earliest acts of civil disobedience is seemed almost self evidence we had to do it. >> host: we are going to put the phone numbers on the screen so you can start calling for represented john lewis and his co-author andrew aydin (202)748-8200 for those of you in the east and central
8:04 pm
timezones 748-8201 in thee mountain pacific timezones in a third number you can get through to on. it's not for phonecalls, it's for text messages only and that's 2028386251. text messages only and please include your first name and your city. congressman lewis, we are talking about "march" in the african-american museum is opening today. >> guest: the opening of this museum tells the story. it's the history of african-americans from the days of slavery to the president. i had an opportunity to walk through this museum. i cried and even today i shed some tears. there was a spirit of humanity on the mall. the museum is located on what i
8:05 pm
call the front porch of america. and it was sitting there on the front porch of the museum and one of the reasons that wesisted insisted that it was the front porch because african-americans have come and take seats on a saturday afternoon or a sunday afternoon on the front porch of the house of their homes, and i think this museum was being visited by hundreds of thousands and millions of people all over america and from around the world. this museum is not just the story of an african-american, it's an american story. it is sorrow and pain but also i our pictures. >> host: andrew how do you put
8:06 pm
a day like today and working with represented john lewis, how do you put that into context? >> guest: i context? >> guest: i have served on the congressman's congressional staffer 10 years now and one of the things i've seen is how the congressman doesn't simply look at things as a short-term objective. he always has a long view and sometimes those long-term projects all come together on a single day. and so to see the national museum of african-american history and culture open on a day where he is going to the national book festival in talking about another project he is doing as part as a mission, educating everyone on what happened and how it happened during the civil rights movement is it part of his dna. it's a part of his mission because if we don't understand what happened during the civil rights movement we cannot understand the politics of today at the time everybody thought it was a long shot for him to get this museum passed through the congress.
8:07 pm
also everyone thought it was a long shot for him to even try to do a graphic novel but here we are on a single day showing that longshot ideas and john lewis's persistence can work and changes this country. >> host: what is your background? probably not the same as congress lewis'. >> guest: i was raised by a single mother.in atl my father lived in atlanta and my father was a turkish immigrant who came to this country and then actually left my mother when i was very young. part of that is how i got into comics books that i have already ben -- always been a bit of a rabble-rouser. you see a single mother being treated the way they are in america particularly in the 70s and 80s, you can't help but ask yourself when you grow up what can i do to make it better? so other people don't have to watch their parents suffer that way. that developed my own social consciousness. it made me want to be a part of public service.
8:08 pm
i didn't necessarily want to go in just make widgets. i want wanted to be a part of our national conversation so that other parents what happened a little bit easier. there is no better person to work for if that's your goal that was john lewis. >> host: congressman lewis two p. -- people who feature in "march" book three george wallace and lyndon johnson. did you ever sit down with george wallace? >> guest: governor wallace was no longer governor. i had an opportunity to sit down with him and talk with him. he heard that i was going to be near montgomery, about 50 miles away outside of a little town called troy, where i grew up and he invited me and made arrangements for me to come and see him. we had a wonderful discussion. we came to the point where we were talking about what happened in selma on the bridge in 1965
8:09 pm
and i asked him, i said governor why did you give the order for the troopers to stop us into beat us? >> said john there were people on the other side of the bridge they were going to kill you. the governor wanted to kill people to keep from others from being killed. we were marching in an orderly nonviolent and peaceful fashion. he said i didn't mean for them to hurt you. and he said you know i love everybody. again i had an opportunity, as i decided to take members of congress back to alabama to montgomery, to selma, to birmingham and we were in montgomery and his son governor
8:10 pm
wallace at home in his bed, he was paralyzed and he wanted us to come by and see him. he was laying in his bed smoking a cigar, watching the wallace story on tnt. we walked in and some of the guys especially from the north, members of congress wanted to shake his hand. he is seen in a photograph so i just grabbed him by the end and that i said hello governor, how are you, good to see when they all came in and shook his hand and we took pictures with him. >> host: let's hear from our callers. this began with margie and pratt west virginia. margie representative john lewis and andrew aydin are our guests. the book is "march" book three. >> caller: i have to tell you i'm absolutely thrilled to talk to you mr. lewis. it's wonderful to get to see att
8:11 pm
hero in our own living timer period and i want to thank you for everything that you do for silver rights and civil rights in general. two questions if i may please. i wanted to ask this one of mr. mr. woodward and i couldn't get in on time but what are your concerns about donald trump's presidency, your main concern if he were to be elected and i think is a question as i've been a democrat my whole life. i'm 64 years old. i don't feel like i have a voice in my party because of the abortion issue. is there something that you see that we can do to help women not have to go in that tragic direction, because i feel --. >> host: margie, i think we got the first part of your question. a donald trump presidency. >> guest: well i don't want to see mr. trump become president. first of all i don't think he is
8:12 pm
qualified. i think he has a mean spirit and he wants to take us back to another period. i think his presidency would divide america. we have come so far and we have made so much progress and we must still make progress. we must lay down the burden of race and create one community, one family and it doesn't matter whether we are black or white, latino, asian-american or native american, we look all live iniv the same house, the american house. we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters. as dr. king said --. >> host: andrew aydin, colin kaepernick kneeling during the "star spangled banner"? >> guest: i think it's a powerful statement and what wepa are seeing is other people taking part as well. he inspired something that i think something is happening in america.in
8:13 pm
we started "march" in 2013 we almost jokingly said that all this happened before in all of this will happen again. we had no way of knowing how right we were. i think a key part of ringing nonviolence and bringing civil disobedience in bringing protests to young people so that they can in fact be the reinforcement, part of what we are trying to do a show the young people we are the driving force in many ways of the civil rights movement and they were the key component in pushing some of the most important reforms in the civil rights movement achieved. i think if he is able to inspire young people to participate, to speak up and a speak out he's doing the nation a great service. >> host: the next call for our guests comes from cameron inin gaithersburg. cameron, go ahead. >> caller: hi represent lewis. it's an honor to talk to you. our president was involved in
8:14 pm
the civil rights movement and my question for you is what advice do you have for people involved in the black lives matter movement? >> guest: i would say thank you so much. i know you're president, he is a wonderful young man very much involved in the city in birmingham during what i like to call the children's crusade. i would say to the young people involved in the black lives matter movement and to all young people and it doesn't matter where they are black or white, latino, asian-american or native american, when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just you have a moral obligation to do something about it but do it in a peaceful, organized, nonviolent fashion and stand up fashion fashion and stand up speak up to speak out. when i was growing up i asked my mother and my father and my grandparents and great grandparents about segregation and racial desegregation.
8:15 pm
the signs that i saw and they would say don't get in trouble, don't get in the way. as wade is. i inspired necessary trouble as all young people have or will responsibility to do. >> host: august 6, 1965 i was invited to meet privately withth the president in the oval office the morning before the voting rights act signing ceremony. this was my first visit to the white house since the march on washington. in my first one-on-one visit with the president. wow john you've got to go back and get all those folks registered and you've got to go back and get those boys buy that -- just like a bull gets on top of a cow. you've got to get them by the walls and you've got to squeeze, squeeze them until they heard. are these direct quotes from president johnson? >> guest: president johnson was very colorful and very
8:16 pm
unbelievable. he spoke in a very plain and simple fashion and sometimes he would listen to him and he would smile and you would want to laugh but you wanted to be respectful of the president of the united states. he was making it plain, he was making it clear and you were prepared to go out and do what he suggested and that is what we tried to do, get everybody register to vote. >> host: andrew aydin, nate powell. >> guest: nate powell is onenesg of the -- of his generation. he lives in bloomington now and he is an artist on this book. he is like a brother. we are sorry he is not here today but he is home, he has two little girls.. he has been on the road with us into ring and working as hard as anybody could. >> host: if a call from midland georgia, this is fred. hi fred. >> caller: how are you doing?
8:17 pm
john lewis i'm very proud of you and your life history. my question is and referencing your book because i have all three of your books why can't we have a book in today's world with all the resources we have and how the country is now motivated to do something about white and black and everyone. why can we have a march onev washington now? >> guest: i think the best launch that we can have right now in america is on electionel day, november the eighth two for all of us all over america, black and white, latino asian-american and native american, the young people to march to the polls. the vote is precious. it's almost sacred. it's the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society so let's go to the vote.
8:18 pm
let's go out and vote. dr. king said if you can't run, crawl but somehow make it there. just go to the polls and vote.'e >> host: rich and battleground washington, do you have a sense of optimism about race in our country going or were? >> guest: i am very, very optimistic, very hopeful that we are going to lay down the burden of race and we are going to create what dr. king called the beloved community where we respect dignity and the work of every human being. we will get there. we will get there. when we get there we will serve as the model for the rest of the world. sometimes you can tell me that nothing has changed and i feel like saying, and walk in my shoes and i will show you change.
8:19 pm
>> host: elizabeth in denver, colorado. hi elizabeth. >> caller: hi mr. lewis this is truly an honor. my mother lifted mississippi during the time of emmett till and i know i don't have to explain that to you. i would like to know what advicn you have for the young people today that are really struggling with the black lives matter movement and the police violence because it's hard for them. they field disenfranchised and i would like to know what advice you have for them to feel more included it to be less violent? >> guest: thank you so much. i grew up in rural alabama with racial discrimination and segregation and i remember so well august 28 when emmett till was lynched. i saw the pictures.w
8:20 pm
i read about it and today i had an opportunity to visit the african-american museum where the -- of emmett till is located. i said to the young people, never become bitter, never become hostile, never to hate. hate is too big of a burden to bear bear. be hopeful and be optimistic and never ever get lost in a sea of despair. work together and pull together and we will change america and we will take america to a better place. >> host: representative louis i didn't realize emmett till was killed on august 28th 8th. with their connection to that and the fact that the march on washington was august 28? >> guest: i believe some of the planners and some of thesom people had that date in mind. in 1955, it was also the
8:21 pm
beginning of the montgomery us boycott and rosa parks asked how do you do with? how did you keep your seat? she said she was not tired. she said i thought about what had happened to emmett till.. >> host: the next call from a place called troy alabama and this is jesse. hi jesse. >> caller: hey, how are you doing? >> guest: hi jesse, how are you? >> caller: mr. lewis you were raised here with my mother and my grandmother. i know you very well and i likee what you are doing and i appreciate what you are doing. my question to you is what do you think about what is going on with charlotte in the policece brutality in this killing of black young men? >> thank you so much for your call.r
8:22 pm
i am very sad about what is happening in charlotte, north carolina, what has happened in oklahoma and other parts of oura country. police officers and young people and all of us must come together and talk to each other, never hate each other. we need more of what i call community policing. they be police officers along with young people and people who are not so young. to study a way of peace in a way of love and nonviolence. during the 60s i was arrested and jailed and left bloodied but i never gave up. i never became bitter. when i see a young police officer, older police officer whether they are african-american or white or latino or asian-american i always say thank you for your
8:23 pm
service. they are out to protect us and protect society. it was very moving to see the young demonstrators in charlotte north carolina shaking hands and hugging national guardsmen. >> host: andrew aydin how old are you, in your 30s? >> guest: 33, yeah. >> host: you didn't live in the era of the march. >> guest: no. >> host: when you think about what is going on today and what you have learned about this period in our history, what are your thoughts? >> i think in some ways there is a bright light in the fact that we are seeing many of these killings. i don't think they are happening in isolation. i don't think they just started. i think they have been happening for quite some time but because of the ubiquitous nature of camera phones and technology we are able to record these incidences.
8:24 pm
it can't be swept under the rug anymore.r the the first steps in dealing with them as technology and they are there and finally we are able to have a national conversation around it. my hope is that it spurssting an organizing, protesting and ultimately action on the part of our elected officials. for me growing up in theon congressman's district, growing up in georgia i heard about the civil rights movement and i saw some parts of it but i never have the opportunity to hear the story of sncc, of the young people and so what i was constantly trying to do was to tell the stories i heard john lewis say and make a meaningful and important so my generation could understand what sacrifice it took to get the progress that they have achieved. >> host: we have a call from another city, john lewis is connected to and this is well in atlanta. hi will. >> caller: hi, fouchier taking my call. looking back over these yearss
8:25 pm
after a talk radio sunday morning with ike and whatnot i'm grateful that it turned out the way it did given the scandals that followed and what happenede publicly afterward but the fact of the matter is voting is not almost sacred, it's sacred. there are 18 forms of the word election comprising of the constitution and we as a nation created a deity with god almighty. there's no question about it. there may be multiple bodies but there's only one god and if you are not serving truth and justice one is not serving god. >> host: will and atlanta this is a text message from lizza nerx city. mr. lewis have you -- shirley chisholm? >> guest: i met shirley chisholm years ago. she was a brave and courageous woman. she came to congress and they
8:26 pm
put on the ag committee, the agricultural committee. she was represented brooklyn but she served, she served well and she tried to help get food for starving people. in the south in rural america,e in virginia, in kentucky all over the place. she was the first woman to get out there and get her name on the ballot to run for president. >> host: let's take anothercall call. we have time for a couple more calls and of course i have lost my place up. this is modern technology. i will work my way back. while i'm i am trying to find where i was supposed to be, nominations for a national book award, how did you find out?out.
8:27 pm
>> guest: i showed up at work to start my day when i booted up the computer all of a sudden i had all these messages.de somebody was like did you see, did you see and i got a request for comment and i'm like what are these people talking about? i finally had to look at the web site and i backed away from my desk and i was like what juste happened? that's how i found out and then i got the call to the congressman to tell them. >> host: you will be in new york for the ceremony? >> guest: well, i think so. we should be there. >> guest: we are finalists, we will be there. guess who we will be there and you know we both have day jobs but something like this, we will make it to new york. >> host: martin is calling in from bernie, texas. hi martin. >> caller: how do you do? congressman i would just like to ask a question.
8:28 pm
i'm originally from chicago, lived there 70 years. in fact my uncle built the original chicago stadium where fdr gave his inaugural. now, my question is i have seen chicago deteriorate to the point that it's embarrassing to the nation. i live in texas for 12 years no. however my question to you is what happened to the morality of the blacks in america there are so many beautiful blacks like you and so many including the president who is half white that they never mention that. i am saying whoever mentions the fact that the deterioration of the family and what is the excuse for that? you have all the people they are at the congressional representatives, and oprah winfrey made her way in chicago. how do you explain it, sir? >> guest: . >> host: let's hear the answer to that question mark in.
8:29 pm
>> guest: let me thank you so much for your call. there are many african-americans in chicago and other major urban centers in the rural communities all across america are doing very, very well. there are some people in our society that had been left out and left behind. they're not just african-americans but they are white americans, they are latinos and asian-americans and native americans. as a country and as a people we must say that all of our citizens are lifted up and they have the grace and the support to move ahead. we must see all of our children receive the best possible education, receive good health care. >> host: a text message, i'm a history teacher of western virginia payday possible routes using your book. it's an excellent resource.
8:30 pm
i bet the students know that this was a movement by young people. what else do we need to do to come back from apathy? >> guest: i think we have to help young people ask the fundamental questions they were asking during the movement. one of the things i i like best is when we go out into the schools and the communities, what would dr. king tweets andwa how would they use these tools? i service the congressman's directors on the send us a tweet for a living. for these young people they have at their fingertips the capacity to organize on a scale never before seen on the face of this planet. sopa can put them in the context of these great leaders and what they had to go through and asked him how would they use the tools of today to achieve the same results, i think that empowerment will help them feel like it's not out of touch and apathy is an something that should be available to them, that they have the capacity and
8:31 pm
the necessity and they must act. >> guest: i think it'sit's i important to young people topeoe understand. "march," read my story but also come in and visit places across america. come to the african-american museum and walk through history. they should be able to feel if another generation can do what they did i too can make this contribution.toa i was deeply inspired by rosa parks. i met rosa parks when i was 17. i met martin luther king jr. when i was 18. i worked in kennedy's campaign. all these people helped make it a person that i am today.
8:32 pm
host that you have a lot of people here at the national book festival watching you right now congressman. there are lots of young people here as well. what do you tell them? >> guest: i tell them. >> host: when they shake your hand. >> host: i would say good to see you, thank you for beingng here and i would say you know i love you. stay in school and get the bestt possible education that you can get. be hopeful and be optimistic and be happy.. don't get lost in a sea of despair. >> host: "march" book three john lewis, andrew aydin and made paul was the illustrator nominated for a national book award. this is again book three representative lewis and andrew aydin have written a novel info graphic form. a longer conversation with congressman lewis booktv sat down with him for three hours on
8:33 pm
our in-depth program so if you go to our web site booktv.org, type in represented john lewis come include the word book otherwise you are going to get all sorts of videos from c-span archives. include the word book. we sat down for three hours, talked about all the other books as well. thank you for being with us here on booktv. >> guest: thank you. >> guest: thank you for having me.
8:34 pm

8 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on