Growing up in a white, wealthy neighborhood meant my education in history was largely told through the lens of the colonizer. I remember learning about Rosa Parks and being told one day “she was just tired” so she refused to move to the back of the bus. Not that she was an activist and protestor for a long time before that particular arrest. I learned that MLK was always a hero. Not that he was considered a radical who was vilified and surveilled by the FBI. ⠀
In 2013 I picked up a copy of John Lewis’s “March.” I credit this graphic novel for helping me start my journey to decolonize my own education. I devoured his story within days. After I had to know more about the things I was never taught, a journey I will continue for the rest of my life. John Lewis the education you have given me is immeasurable and you will always be one of my favorite teachers. Thank you for opening my eyes and showing me how to hope in a world that only wishes to tear everyone down. We will continue the work in your honor and for all of those who came before us. Most importantly, I will make sure the students I educate and my son will know the truth about protest movements and they will know the truth of this country so that they will be destined to do better and fight for justice for all. Rest in Power. Your soul lives on.