Cover Story: Congressman John Lewis takes over Creative Loafing

The storied civil rights activist leads a collaboration around nonviolence

Earlier this year, we started a conversation about inviting someone to guest edit an issue of Creative Loafing. We wanted to know what our newspaper would look like if we handed over the reins to someone we admired and respected. How would they fill the pages? What would they want to say? We created a dream list of people with whom we’d love to collaborate.

At the top of that list was Congressman John Lewis. There are many reasons to admire Lewis: because his work in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Civil Rights Movement made our country a better place; because he’s the last living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington; because at 73 years old, he continues to fight for justice and peace in the House of Representatives; because his commitment to nonviolence has been unwavering throughout his lifetime. Lewis makes us proud to live in Atlanta. Like an Auburn Avenue mural of the congressman puts it, Lewis is a hero.

Beyond our admiration for Lewis, we learned that March: Book One, the first volume of Lewis’ graphic novel memoir co-authored with his staffer Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, would be published on Aug. 13, 2013. The timing was right and Lewis agreed. Through coordination with Aydin, Lewis has guided us to this issue focused on the future of nonviolence.

- Debbie Michaud, editor-in-chief, and Wyatt Williams, culture editor