His Truth Is Marching On Book Summary - His Truth Is Marching On Book explained in key points
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His Truth Is Marching On summary

Jon Meacham and John Lewis

John Lewis and the Power of Hope

4.2 (29 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

'His Truth Is Marching On' by Jon Meacham and John Lewis is a powerful memoir that reflects on the life and legacy of the late civil rights icon John Lewis. It tells the story of his struggle for justice and equality, his unwavering courage and conviction, and his call to action for future generations.

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    His Truth Is Marching On
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    Growing up in Alabama, John Lewis learned to connect faith and justice.

    August 1955 in Money, Mississippi, a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till is accused of whistling at a white woman. He's beaten to death by a white crowd – the lynching goes unpunished.

    December 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, a Black woman named Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a segregated bus. She's arrested and charged – but goes on to lead a months-long boycott of the bus system.

    February 1956 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a Black woman named Autherine Lucy tries to attend classes at the University of Alabama. She's attacked by a white mob and pelted with stones and rotten fruit.

    This is the American South in the mid-1950s. It's a time and place where overt racism and segregation is the norm. But, it's also filled with courageous people fighting these injustices.

    The key message here is: Growing up in Alabama, John Lewis learned to connect faith and justice.

    John Lewis was born just outside of Troy, Alabama in February 1940. His parents were sharecroppers, and the family eked out a living raising chickens, cotton, and corn. Their house was small – three rooms with no electricity or running water – and all the children had to lend a hand on the farm. But as tough as life was at home, it was even worse out in the world.

    It was the Jim Crow era, and Alabama, like other southern states, was segregated. African Americans were forced to use separate, inferior facilities, faced harsh barriers to voting, and received little protection from racist violence. This reality wasn't lost on Lewis, who felt the injustice firsthand when he saw how rundown his school was compared to the one for white kids.

    One ray of hope came from his faith. Lewis's family attended the Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal church. He loved the community and the ritual, but he loved the preaching most of all. As a child, he was so inspired that he would practice by delivering rousing sermons to the chickens back on the farm.

    In 1955, Lewis's faith took a new turn when he first heard Martin Luther King Jr. deliver a sermon on the radio. King spoke of the social gospel – a doctrine that said a true Christian wasn't only concerned about heaven but also dedicated to improving conditions here on earth. 

    King's words about fighting for justice, equality, and dignity struck a chord with Lewis. The civil rights movement was brewing around him, and King's teachings seemed like the right way forward.

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    What is His Truth Is Marching On about?

    His Truth Is Marching On (2020) tells the extraordinary life story of the late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, interweaving his personal journey with the larger arc of American history.

    His Truth Is Marching On Review

    His Truth Is Marching On (2020) is a riveting account of the life and legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis. Here's why this book deserves your attention:

    • With remarkable storytelling, it takes readers on a journey through the civil rights movement, offering profound insights into the struggle for equality.
    • Combining personal recollections, historical context, and powerful imagery, the book brings John Lewis's experience to life, leaving a lasting impact.
    • Its unflinching examination of racism, activism, and social change ensures that the book is far from boring, keeping readers engaged and informed from start to finish.

    Who should read His Truth Is Marching On?

    • History buffs intrigued by the personalities behind the civil rights movement
    • Political junkies interested in the life of a powerful leader
    • Anyone who’s been inspired by John Lewis

    About the Author

    John Lewis was a civil rights leader and a United States congressman representing Georgia's 5th Congressional District. He first rose to prominence as one of the “Big Six” organizers of the 1963 March on Washington.

    Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who specializes in political biographies. His previous works include The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

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    His Truth Is Marching On FAQs 

    What is the main message of His Truth Is Marching On?

    The main message of His Truth Is Marching On is the powerful impact of John Lewis's lifelong fight for civil rights and social justice.

    How long does it take to read His Truth Is Marching On?

    The reading time for His Truth Is Marching On varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is His Truth Is Marching On a good book? Is it worth reading?

    His Truth Is Marching On is a compelling read that captures the essence of John Lewis's inspiring life and legacy. It is definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of His Truth Is Marching On?

    The author of His Truth Is Marching On is Jon Meacham.

    What to read after His Truth Is Marching On?

    If you're wondering what to read next after His Truth Is Marching On, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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