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In 2010 Rodney Mims Cook Sr., the aging patriarch of one of Atlanta’s most prominent families, was in poor health and seemingly fading. Fearing his father didn’t have much time left, Rodney Jr. moved him into his guest house. The elder Cook one day called his son to his side and delivered a final charge: You need to rebuild Mims Park.
A week from being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States and days before the federal holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., Donald J. Trump took umbrage with criticism levied by Georgia congressman John Lewis, who questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s election, what with the steady drip of reports about Russian hacking and all.
John Lewis is in the midst of a victory lap right now. The longtime Democratic congressman, the last of the surviving “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement, has spent the past several years honoring the legacy of the Selma march, paying tribute to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and occasionally joining in nonviolent protests.
President Barack Obama on local civil rights legend: "Julian Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be remembered than that.”
Selma director Ava DuVernay shot her new film about the civil rights movement’s 1965 bloody march to voting equality in just six weeks this summer in Atlanta and Alabama. Scheduled to open in limited release on Christmas Day, Selma stars David Oyelowo as MLK, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Andre Holland as Andrew Young, and Stephan James as a young John Lewis. We talked with DuVernay in the fall, when she took a break from the editing room to discuss the film.
This June, Ava DuVernay, director of Selma—the long-delayed movie about a pivotal period in the life of Martin Luther King Jr.—stood at the front of historic Wheat Street Baptist Church. She was preparing for a scene featuring Stephan James, the Canadian actor who plays civil rights legend John Lewis. “My back was turned to the door when suddenly Stephan’s eyes got big,” DuVernay said.
Tom Heintjes is the editor of Hogan’s Alley, a journal that explores the history and influence of comics and cartoonists, and writes articles such as “Crossing the Color Line (in Black and White): Franklin in Peanuts,” and “Flannery O’Connor: Cartoonist.” In other words, he is accustomed to thinking about comic books seriously.
John Lewis may be a living legend of the civil rights movement and a longtime congressman from Georgia, but that doesn't mean he takes himself too seriously.