This month, we take a closer look at The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos and Nate Powell (First Second Books, 2012) and provide teaching suggestions for middle and high school classrooms.
The Silence of Our Friends has not been banned or challenged to date, so we highlight it here for two reasons: First, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary on the March on Washington; and second, because this story then and now, powerfully relates the pain and ramifications of censorship and racism and the effects such silencing has on everyone.
The Silence of Our Friends is a semi-autobiographical story told from the perspective of Mark Long, as a boy. It centers around civil rights incidents covered by his father, a television reporter in Houston, Texas, in 1968, following the Texas Southern University student boycott after the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was banned from campus. It ends with Dr. King’s assassination and the mourning of the larger Houston community as they marched in his memory that following Sunday. The Silence of our Friends emphasizes and reinforces Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s powerful words:
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.
Welcome to Using Graphic Novels in Education, an ongoing feature from CBLDF that is designed to allay confusion around the content of banned books and to h...